Member Article

Apprentices given a chance to craft their future

Three young students from Bishop Auckland have been successful in obtaining apprenticeships at global manufacturing company Crafter’s Companion based in Coundon, County Durham.

17-year-old Luke Whitfield has been recruited as a marketing assistant, 20-year-old Jake Davison as a warehouse assistant and 21-year-old Samantha Davison has landed a business administration role.

Jake found the role through an apprenticeship website and works full-time in the Coundon warehouse while gaining an NVQ in Logistics and Distribution. Luke and Sam both study NVQ’s in Business and Administration Level 2 at Bishop Auckland College where they were recommended by their careers advisors to apply to the award-winning company.

Owner of Crafter’s Companion, Sara Davies, said: “We absolutely love hiring apprentices from the region. We find that young people have that thirst for knowledge and can get to grips with the business quite quickly with support from everyone on the team. It’s obviously a large operation we run so there is a lot to take in but Luke, Jake and Sam are settling in really well.”

Samantha Davison who supports the trade team at Crafter’s Companion said: “I really enjoy working at Crafter’s, it is like one big family away from home; everybody has made me feel so welcome from my very first day.

“I am looking forward to hopefully receiving a full-time role here once I have my NVQ certificate. It is such an exciting business to be part of as it’s growing at a rapid rate. Sara is an inspiration and facilitates all staff to fulfil their potential. The opportunities that have already been presented to me have been fantastic and I hope to stay and work my way up the ladder.”

Along with its site in County Durham, Crafter’s Companion also has sites in the US and mainland Europe. The business has had a stellar year, increasing its staff count to around 60 with the addition of a sales team based in Holland to cater for the Benelux region. Sara has also won numerous awards this year including an international ‘Stevie® Women in Business’ and a ‘Shell Women of the Future’, both in the ‘Young Entrepreneur’ category.

Its flagship product ‘The Ultimate’ is now being sold through the world’s largest independent craft retailer Michael’s in its 1,100 stores across North America. Earlier in 2013, an investment of £100,000 was made to improve Crafter’s Companion’s packing and distribution facility in Coundon to enable its expansion plans over the next five years after.

Crafter’s Companion’s products are sold online, through TV shopping channels and through retail outlets. Aside from crafting tools, the company also distributes an array of third party brands and develops products with licensing partners such as The Snowman.

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This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Jodie Balmer .

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