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Celebrating National Apprenticeship Week

Each year we celebrate National Apprenticeship Week to shine a light on those that have started their career path as an apprentice – which can be very rewarding.

Apprenticeship Week takes place from 6th February this year and the week brings together businesses and apprentices across the country to focus on the positive impact that apprenticeships make to individuals, businesses, and the wider economy.

The theme for National Apprenticeship Week 2023 is “Skills for Life”, reflecting on how apprenticeships can develop the skills and knowledge required for a rewarding career, and how businesses can develop a talented workforce that is equipped with future-ready skills.

We wanted to take this opportunity to tell the story of Gemma Mulcahy who started with us in 2018. Gemma joined us as a Level Two Administration Apprentice in the sales office. As a quick learner she progressed to Level Three as a Customer Service Specialist, and she has become a valuable member of the team. Gemma said; “When I started at Midland Lead I had no real work experience, but they were supportive and I quickly felt like I was working as part of a forward-thinking company that supported its employees every step of the way.”

During Covid Gemma moved into operations where we needed additional support following the Government restrictions that we faced, she quickly learnt to drive a forklift and gained her licence. We are so proud of the way Gemma tackled any challenge and now Gemma is qualified to drive all vehicles on site including the loading shovel, 8T forklift and the overhead crane and is qualified to operate the kettles.

Now embedded as a valued member of the Operations team, Gemma embraces any challenge she faces; “Midland Lead is a great place to work and I enjoy working within such a busy and ambitious company.

“I would advise anyone interested in starting their career as an apprentice to take up the challenge as it is incredibly rewarding. I found looking for the right role for me quite difficult, but apprenticeship helped me to learn and grow in ways that I couldn’t have achieved just by going to college or starting a job without any training.”

Francoise Derksen, HR Manager at Midland Lead said; “Gemma has been with Midland Lead through some of the toughest challenges over the last few years, and she always demonstrated a willingness to learn and step into any role that was presented to her.”

Ongoing Training

Midland Lead is committed to investing in training and staff development, and we have focussed on work place training over the last 18 months. Last year we provided in-house training for people to gain more qualifications on operating forklift trucks, pedestrian pallet stackers, loading shovels and excavators.

In addition to this Midland Lead has also provided environmental awareness training as part of an ongoing commitment to sustainability and sustainable manufacturing. We have also provided occupational health training to maintain a healthy workforce, and this is something we will continue to build on.

One of the things that we feel benefits the development of all staff includes cross-skilling people in different roles within operations, feedback from people who have undertaken additional training has been positive. This internal training shows a continued investment in staff development and in the short-term it brings our production efficiencies down but our long-term goal is to get more people involved and trained to work in more areas, allowing progression, more flexibility and the aim of earning more as skilled qualified employees.

Jasmin Cotton has been working at Midland Lead since August 2021 as a Sales Relationship Adviser, and is looking forward to the opportunities ahead; “No two days are the same here and one of the things I enjoy the most about my job is speaking to customers to help drive mutual sales, as well as ensuring they get the customer service they require. Looking at the career journey that Gemma has had since she started at Midland Lead really motivates me, as she started exactly where I am now. I am also inspired by Kyle, who has worked his way up through the business to the Sales and Marketing Manager, plus he is a great boss. I am always keen to learn new things and I know that Midland Lead will support my career as I have already learnt so much.”

Midland Lead is currently recruiting for a Sales Account Executive and additional operators to join our teams. If you would like more information on how you can join our forward thinking company, that puts our employees at the forefront, please email at: