With world-class training opportunities in a variety of roles, we are looking for new talent to join our high-performance team and kick start your career in packaging. Find out more about our apprentice roles for 2022.
Jess Francis joined Coveris’ Internal Sales team at our Spalding site in December 2019 as a Customer Service Executive (CSE), training under our own bespoke Trailblazer program. Designed to fast-track and mentor customer facing roles within our UK Paper division, Jess qualified with a City and Guilds Level 2 Customer Service Practitioner distinction. Developing critical customer service and system management skills, Jess is now responsible for managing major accounts for many of the UK’s leading retailers.
So Jess, why did you decide to apply to work at Coveris?
I heard about Coveris from a friend who had recently started in a Customer Service role and highly recommended the business, the training and the working hours. I initially applied for a Customer Service Executive position and was immediately introduced to the new Trailblazer program which allowed me to receive additional first-class training and gain a formal qualification at the end of it.
Was it easy to apply?
Yes very. I applied through a recruitment website and then went through a two-stage interview process which included a job shadow on the second interview. This was really insightful as it gave me a taster for the role and the opportunity to get a real feel for the business and see what’s going on. Throughout the process, everyone was really nice and professional, and I felt like they were always trying to get the best out of me. During the job shadow process, people’s willingness to help really sealed the deal for me as I knew I would be well supported in the actual role.
What did your training involve?
As I was completely new to the role, I started right at the beginning of the Customer Service training process. I got a training plan and was allocated a mentor who I job shadowed daily, which gave me the chance to learn and ask any questions. Over a period of around 6 months, they give you work to do to build up your confidence so you can then start working independently. My trainer was fantastic and on top of the daily work, I had weekly reviews and any problems you could speak to your mentor or supervisor at any time. As well as having a mentor you are part of a wider team, which was around 15 people in our office. The end point assessment as part of my Trailblazer was split into two parts, the first half was a ‘showcase portfolio’ which was all the work I’d done towards my qualification. The second part was talking through my portfolio with an external assessor.
What does your typical day now involve?
There are so many parts to it that no two days are the same or typical which is what keeps it interesting! The basic role of a CSE is to manage the customer purchase from design through to print, delivery and payment. Therefore, you work across so many internal and external contact points, from customer to production, commercial, pricing, account managers, artwork studio – the list goes on! Managing this entire process can be really fast-paced and definitely suited to someone who likes dealing with people. My office is mostly fresh produce and chilled food packaging which means our workload can be very seasonal and heavily impacted by the weather, making it unpredictable at times but always fun!
What do you enjoy most about it?
Learning something completely new from scratch, particularly Coveris’ bespoke systems and processes. Colleague support throughout training and beyond has been brilliant and it’s not just your mentor who helps you, everyone is willing to help. Once you are experienced you can then pass your help onto others and have the opportunity to become a trainer and mentor yourself.
What do you like most about working at Coveris?
The people! Everyone really gets on in my team and you feel part of the Coveris family. It’s not just my colleagues either, my customers are really rewarding to work with too and always grateful for my support – especially at short notice!
Do you have any advice for someone considering doing an apprenticeship?
Definitely go for it! You’ll get all the support you need, don’t be afraid to ask questions, someone will always help you and know the answer – even after 4 years of training I’m still learning every day! This is also a great chance to network with other departments and customer service colleagues from other areas across the business that you wouldn’t usually have day to day contact with.