DP World in the UK celebrates National Apprenticeship Week
This week marks National Apprenticeship Week – an annual event showcasing the benefits that apprentices can bring to local communities, businesses, and the wider economy.
The theme for this year’s event is ‘Skills for Life’, reflecting on how apprenticeships can help individuals to develop the skills and knowledge required for a rewarding career and help businesses to develop a talented workforce that is equipped with skills for the future.
Our business in the UK is committed to early careers and growing talent – attracting and retaining the best people in the business. In celebration of National Apprenticeship Week, we will be spotlighting some of our brilliant apprentices working at London Gateway and Southampton – getting to know them and shining a light on their individual role and experiences.
Read on to meet our first two apprentices of the series – Edward Brandon, Procurement Apprentice at Southampton, and Molly Blake, Engineering Apprentice at London Gateway.
Can you tell us a bit about you and what led you to securing an Apprenticeship at DP World?
Molly: During Sixth Form, I researched and spoke to people about DP World London Gateway. I feel my experience within the business will expand my knowledge and improve my skills, so it was always something I wanted to do. I feel I secured my Apprenticeship due to my hard-working attitude and the fact that I am always willing to learn something new.
Edward: I am currently working towards my Level 3 CIPS (Charted Institute of Procurement and Supply) qualification for the next 2 years.
When I heard about the opportunity at DP World for this apprenticeship, I was intrigued as a career in Procurement and Supply Chain was not something I had really considered. The biggest draw for me was knowing the culture of the workplace ahead of applying, because I was previously employed here in an operational role. This prior experience helped give me the confidence to embark on this journey, knowing that although the course was going to be a challenge, I knew it was going to be a fun, interesting and enjoyable environment to work in.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Molly: I assist technicians and help maintain equipment within the port. No day is ever the same – and in between my day-to-day role, I take time out to study. The things I enjoy most is the different personalities with the department – I really enjoy working with people from all different backgrounds.
Edward: My day-to-day role includes:
Stakeholder Management: Taking care of any incoming emails from internal and external suppliers through our Purchasing inbox. We receive a wide variety of emails each day, which I am responsible for, for example, these emails may be regarding them wanting updates on their orders or may be responses to us chasing up orders for ourselves and other departments within the business.
System Management: Entering Purchase Requisitions (PR’s) on to our new procurement system. I was part of the team who was responsible for transferring the data over – it was a huge task where an eye for detail was needed. PR’s are required whenever someone has placed an order or requested a product, and when they have been approved it is my role to convert them into Purchase Orders (PO’s), which I could then go on to place an order on later.
Study: Preparing for the start of my course, by studying and completing research before the start date 20th February later this month.
Networking: I really enjoy working alongside my colleagues and the wider office as it is open plan. Interacting with people outside my immediate team allows me to improve my understanding of the industry I work in and improve my confidence when talking to new people. I also ask lots of questions to maximise my time on this course and make the most of this opportunity.
What was your motivation to start an apprenticeship with DP World?
Molly: Before applying for the apprenticeship, I wanted to pursue something different – but then I heard about the job and I was really intrigued about what the role involved. At Sixth Form there was a large focus on going to University, but I knew I wanted to do an apprenticeship to learn on the job whilst being hands on.
Edward: As mentioned previously I worked for DP World when I was 16 and it gave me a great insight into how fascinating the whole industry is. With such a wide range service offering and being a global giant, DP World really is an amazing company to work for. Being one of the largest container ports in the UK, and only a 15-minute drive away from me, what more could I ask for? But on a serious note, what motivated me was the chance to personally develop in an environment where I feel supported and challenged. To be able to come away with a qualification and hopefully secure my future, is hugely important to me.
What does your Apprenticeship mean to you?
Molly: The skills that I expect to take from my apprenticeship is good communication skills and increased confidence around others. I hope to gain qualifications which open many doors to help me develop my career further.
Edward: I feel privileged to have begun my journey as a Procurement Apprentice. Starting an apprenticeship in general is, in my opinion, the best way to start a promising career as a young adult. Not only does it mean that I will earn while I learn, but I will be getting invaluable on the job experience, being immersed in the job every day, and surrounded by opportunities to learn. I have received guidance from people who have a wealth of experience in the Procurement industry and beyond, that will help with my interest and understanding of the role I am taking on, and DP World as a business.
What has been the greatest achievement and biggest challenge in your role so far?
Molly: I am particularly proud of the knowledge I have gained so far in the company, for electrical and mechanical work. The obstacles I have faced so far is asking for help, when I am tasked with something I want to finish it without support, but I now know that not everything can be done on my own and does sometimes require advice from others.
Edward: My greatest achievement has also been my biggest challenge. Starting out with little to no knowledge of Procurement and Supply Chain, trying to understand, and get to grips with the new system has been incredibly difficult but at the same time, massively rewarding. I started at the end of September 2022, and the new procurement system went live around the middle of November 2022, so I had to learn two systems! The silver lining was the fact that the introduction of the new system meant everyone else was learning too, we were all in the same boat. Through teamwork and perseverance, we managed to overcome the challenges and errors that it brought with it. It was interesting to develop new methods and theories to solve the issues we faced.
If you could share any advice with future apprentices, what would it be?
Molly: Ask lots of questions, and never be afraid to ask for advice.
Edward: Take advantage of the opportunity to learn as much as you can whilst being paid to do so. If you work hard and do well, you have the chance to get a secure job at the end of your training so always try your best and grab the opportunities given to you. Do not be afraid to ask questions. You are not meant to know all the answers, so be willing to learn and get stuck in. Have a POSITIVE ATTITUDE!
There are so many benefits to doing an apprenticeship and you will get to learn on the job whilst meeting lots of new people. You will get to hear lots of different points of view as well which really helps you to develop as a person. I am really glad I chose an apprenticeship; it was definitely the right choice for me.