Thomas Newby – Retail Apprenticeship

Thomas Newby Apprentice croppedI started my Travel career at college but this gave me no work experience and I knew I wanted to develop my people skills. I did voluntary work experience in my local TUI shop; and I decided I wanted to learn and work at the same time so I applied for the Apprenticeship instead. Being in a team environment has really helped me build my confidence and personality.

I work in a team of 7 people where we do rely on passing
trade, and so as a team we are currently working as a team to build a repeat customer base. I’m driven to succeed in sales, I research and look for the best deals, so I can offer customers the most competitive option immediately,  I also share this information with colleagues and my region which helps all of us reach our targets.

I ensure I ask customers questions so I understand their requests and can anticipate their needs to sell them the most suitable holiday. I’m attentive, confident and adapt my approach to suit customer’s individual needs. I’m the UK Holiday and Cruise Expert for my branch and I aspire to be a future manager and progress within Retail.

My Travel Apprentice Achievements

In my first 5 months I over achieved my sales targets and I’m in the Top 10 Apprentices for sales nationally an excellent start to my Apprenticeship.  As a company we have are also have our performance measured through mystery shoppers – my average score is 94% which is above my target of 80%, and customers have described me as enthusiastic, knowledgeable, natural, “vivacious” and helpful.

The Apprenticeship has given me knowledge of geography and marketing, I use these skills and the confidence I have developed to help me improve sales. I like to share my findings with my team members, this has helped me to be considered as a strong team player and build a great team ethic amongst us. I regularly post marketing ideas on Facebook and I also go to my old Youth Club and sell group weekends away for stag and hen parties.

I am really enjoying learning and other suppliers have their own training in addition to the apprenticeship which I’ve completed – Disney, Visit Orlando, P&O Cruises, Haven, Butlins and Warner. Completing these in my spare time has proved invaluable, I now know the suppliers well and they presented me with my own unique discount code that I can use for customer discounts. Passing the training has given me “expert” recognition from these external suppliers.

My greatest achievement though has been to build rapport with customers and build my own confidence; this has been a challenge for me in the past. Working in a team and completing so much training has really developed my confidence which has had a massive impact to me working in a very people focussed industry. From this I have been able to join networking teams and keep in touch with valuable suppliers.

I’ve won Regional Apprentice of the Year and passed my driving test too!

I owe my success to the skills I’ve learnt from my Apprenticeship. Especially the Principles of Customer Service assignment which is what has helped me interact and build rapport with customers more confidently. Unit 207 has helped my negotiation skills which made me sell more. It’s difficult to get repeat business in my shop so building immediate rapport and confirming the sale promptly is essential for success.

What has the TUI Retail Travel Apprenticeship given to me?

For the first time I’m excited about my future and the opportunities ahead of me. I have improved on my Maths skills and I’m now working towards the functional maths skills level 2

I’m hard working and am passionate about what I do, working and completing my Apprenticeship has given me something rewarding in my life.  Delighting customers and really being able to make a difference at work has helped me become positive and enthusiastic for the future.

I’d like to be an Ambassador for the Apprenticeship programme because I am sure there are so many young people who have had similar challenges. With TUI I would explore opportunities to join inductions and recruitment days and be able to be an advocate for the Apprenticeship as I’d really like to share my experiences and encourage others.

What did TUI Retail say about Thomas:

Thomas is a valuable member of the team; he’s hard working and will do anything to help anybody to ensure that the store is running to its full potential.  We have monthly reviews and whenever there are areas that need focus, Thomas will challenge himself to make marked improvements.

Thomas adopts a “can do” attitude in all areas of the business, he works extra hours at home to complete online training and create posters and other tools that will help him and the shop succeed. He is willing to give up his day off to cover when we are short staffed or if he wants to get involved in extra training.

Thomas is an excellent team member. With the hard work he puts in with his Apprenticeship, he’s always willing to share relevant knowledge with us too. Our team know that they can always call upon Thomas’ knowledge and expertise and consider him a real asset to the team and indeed, the company.

His enthusiasm is infectious. He is driven to succeed and consistently proves himself. He’s a fantastic team player and with his newly found confidence and belief in himself. Thomas will achieve his goals of progressing through to not only shop management but senior management within TUI.