At 17, Scott Stanton took an apprenticeship with Café Connections in the UK. Now 28, he is a valued member of the team and prime forklift operator on-site. Scott and director Stephanie Cargill talk about the apprenticeship scheme and their journey together.
Scott on the job
When Scott joined the company at 17, he had no idea it would pave the way to a career. "I wasn't going on to college, had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do - and in truth really wasn't looking forward to being tied down in a job at all. It was my school which encouraged me to talk to an agency that handled apprenticeships as they thought I'd be happier learning on my feet rather than sitting in a classroom. I'd had enough of that."
"It wasn't all plain sailing to begin with," Stephanie, who looks after the company's apprenticeship program, recalls. "He didn't become a saint overnight."
Callum Buttery makes the grade as apprentice and joins the permanent team at Café Connections.
Scott agrees: "I was probably a bit of a pain in the neck, but in the end, I just put my head down and got on with it."
Scott gained his forklift licence on his first attempt and started to immerse himself in the general day-to-day operation of the warehouse. Today, 11 years on, he is the prime forklift driver on site. "It's probably about 70% of my job."
Prior to lockdown saw the entire company coming together to video a Christmas message to their customers for social. Scott (far right) waits with the team for his cue!
Scott is now a valued member of the team. "He has the most amazing eye for space," explains Stephanie, "He has this knack of seeing how best to place stock to give a good flow for picking. He's also very much the face of Goods In."
Café Connections, a distributor of packaging for the food-2-go sector, takes a constant stream of hot cups, bags and boxes into the warehouse every day.
"The fact that Scott builds such good relationships with the regular drivers has a real effect on the smooth running of the warehouse," Stephanie adds. "They like his straightforward approach and the fact he values their time as well as his own. When there are problems or delays, this means they trust him and things get sorted faster and easier."
Jack Boyd joined as apprentice at the same time as Scott. 11 years on, he too plays an important role within the team.
Scott enjoys the team spirit within the warehouse. "When new people join us, they are always amazed at how well everyone works together. Before COVID, job swap saw us working alongside colleagues in completely different sections of the company, which expanded that team spirit even further and made us realise the impact we had on each other's jobs."
"We really rate the apprenticeship scheme," comments Stephanie. "Through it, we have been introduced to some terrific youngsters, a number of whom - like Scott - have forged themselves a permanent niche with us."
Scott is currently on standby for the imminent arrival of his first child, a son. Stephanie jokes: "We're sure his forklift skills will have him expertly handling that pram in no time."
If you work with forklifts and materials handling products in any capacity, we'd love to hear your stories. Drop us a line or two or send us some photos here.