An apprenticeship transforms a family run business

Tristan King’s family run business, King Family Stores, spans five shops and has developed significantly over the last 21 years. Building his business from scratch, Tristan has prided himself on creating a ‘family’ ethos amongst his employees. This, in addition to Tristan’s belief in training employees to reach their maximum potential, has ensured high retention rates throughout the business.

Tristan “believes in apprenticeships” due to his own experiences as an apprentice. He said that they have the ability to “open up your mind to different way of thinking and help you understand the values of working.”

Prior to starting his successful family business, Tristan completed NVQs in Customer Service (Level 2) and Retail Management (Levels 3 and 4). The skills he gained throughout his qualifications have helped his development tremendously, not only teaching him the key competencies required to run a retail business, but also increasing Tristan’s confidence.

“It’s more than making money, it’s about making a difference” – Tristan King, speaking on the power of apprenticeships.

Introducing Connor Cleary . . .

Connor Cleary joined King Family Stores in 2014 at the age of 18, as a Sales Assistant, working the floor and replenishing stock. When the role of Store Supervisor became available, Connor jumped at the challenge and was willing to undertake any necessary training to get the position.

Connor soon commenced a Level 3 Team Leading and Supervising apprenticeship, with Interserve Learning & Employment. Not long after, he was promoted to the Supervisor role he had his eye on.

Speaking on Connor’s progress, Tristan comments: “Connor is the biggest success story we’ve had. Since undertaking his apprenticeship, Connor is more motivated and is showing his true potential. I’m sure he’ll make a great Manager with us one day.”

Retail is an ever-changing and competitive industry to work in and it can be difficult to keep up with new trends and the competition. In Tristan’s words: “It takes financial backing, a good location and a good skill set to grow your business.”

He continued: “Connor’s training has provided us with the skills we needed to expand King Family Stores. His appetite for retail is amazing and he is already changing the processes within the business through interactions with others in the retail industry, who he has met through his apprenticeship.”

This interaction comes from classroom sessions led by Connor’s Training & Development Officer at Interserve Learning & Employment. At the sessions, Connor is able to network with others in similar roles, which has proved a great way to keep on top of new innovations and developments within the sector.

An apprenticeship in this day and age is very different to what is used to be, it is more interactive, which in turn leads to more engaged and informed members of staff. Tristan can’t express enough how much of a difference having an apprentice on board has made to his business already, in such a short amount of time. It is something he would recommend to any ambitious learner wanting to progress and move onto the next level in their apprenticeship, being a surety of impressing an employer looking for the talent to bring new ideas and grow their business.

If you are a learner considering your next apprenticeship, speak to your TDO and ask them to talk through the options available for progression. They will happily talk to your employer too to make sure any potential future qualification will be the right route for your career with them.

And in the meantime, take a look at our website for other inspirational stories like that of Tristan and Connor; behind every happy employer there’s a successful apprentice –


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