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Olivia Barnsley – Retail Apprenticeship

Olivia Barnsley – Retail Apprenticeship

Olivia Barnsley

Olivia (on the left) winning the People’s 1st Travel Advanced Apprentice

I started A levels at college but struggled with the workload and I needed to support myself financially as well, I then took paid work and moved out of education but I always knew that I wanted to build a career and having looked at the Travel Apprenticeship, I thought this would allow me to do that. I now have the opportunity to gain a qualification, earn money and work in an industry I’m passionate about.

I’m ambitious and keen to complete my apprenticeship; I’m aiming to be a ‘Super Seller’, excelling in sales. Being a Travel Apprentice means I now have some amazing opportunities ahead of me, being part of a large company like TUI and Thomson Retail means I can look to side step into other roles, including Cabin Crew and experience different places and cultures.

While completing my Apprenticeship I have the same duties and targets as my Travel Advisor colleagues – there are 10 of us in our team. We strive to maximise sales while ensuring our customers return again and again. I know I contribute to this because I already have many repeat customers and scored 100% when a recent mystery shopper came into our store.

Having started my Apprenticeship I am now full of confidence, I strive for more and I know I can move up within the company.

My Travel Apprentice Achievements

Within 6 months I’m well on the way to achieving my annual sales target and I’m the Cruise Specialist in my shop and again we are performing well against target. A lot of our customers are repeat customers and I personally have 6 customers that return to book their holidays with me already. My customer service has also been recognised, I’ve had ten 100% scores from the customer satisfaction surveys, I think this maybe because I personalise each enquiry. One comment was, “Thomson has a focused and enthusiastic adviser who is happy in their work and confident in their recommendations”.

What has the Thomson Retail Travel Apprenticeship given to me?

I’m eager to learn and like to exceed the amount of learning expected of me, there are additional  training modules to the Apprenticeship which I do in my own time – I am now an ‘expert’ for cruise because of the knowledge I have gained through online training.

I’ve achieved distinctions in my technical certificates for my Apprenticeship – my destination knowledge has surpassed what I thought I would be capable of, I’m proof that this knowledge transfers into sales.   I like to research at home and am passionate about Mexico and I have sold 8 holidays to this destination alone due to the research I have done.

I think my best achievement is getting 100% on the customer surveys, this verifies that I am doing something right!

The Travel Apprenticeship in Thomson Retail has really changed my life for the better, the Apprenticeship has improved me as a person, not just in the training I have received but also it has helped me hugely with my confidence both in and out of work. I’m really looking forward to further improving myself, in work and at home. I’m determined to keep achieving and surpassing my target, and want to further stretch myself to constantly be the best in everything that I do.

I’m a real advocate of the Travel Apprenticeship – I regularly speak to young people who come into store about this amazing opportunity.

What Thomson Retail said about Olivia:

Olivia is a natural at work and talks to her customers with great confidence, building fantastic rapport quickly so that our customers trust her. The knowledge she has gained in her Apprenticeship has given her added confidence, she has developed a brilliant sales technique, and delivers exceptional service scoring 100% on 10 customer surveys – truly outstanding.

Any learning Olivia receives she is quick to share with team. She uses her initiative and offers support and help daily. She wants us all to achieve our targets and does this by helping and sharing knowledge. Olivia is a true Ambassador for Thomson – every team should have an Olivia!

The Apprenticeship Journey

The Apprenticeship Journey

Joining the Thomson Retail Team as an Apprentice, we will help you become a destination expert to recommend and sell holidays and extras to a range of our customers.

You will learn to put customers at the heart of our business and constantly ‘go the extra smile’; by creating unforgettable holiday experiences that make us famous for service and create customers for life.

But what is it really like to be a Retail Apprentice?

We asked some of our recent apprentices to share their journey so far. They have taken the time to tell us more about what they have achieved on the programme and what the next steps in their careers hold.