Apprenticeship Awards: Emily reflects on 'best decision' to join housebuilder

Debbie Cartwright and Emily Wilson of Mansfield-based Rippon Homes.
Debbie Cartwright and Emily Wilson of Mansfield-based Rippon Homes.

Jumping into the workplace deep end proved to be the 'best decision' for a Mansfield apprentice.

Emily Wilson was looking to alternatives to university when she left school after sitting her A-levels, and chose a level 2 apprenticeship in customer services with Mansfield-based housebuilder Rippon Homes in July 2015.

She has since gone on to complete the course, run by Vision Apprentices through West Nottinghamshire College, and has taken on a full-time role with the company as customer care admin assistant.

“I decided my best route was to secure the qualifications I needed and progress in a job by combining work and training," said Emily.

"It’s been the best decision. Even though I was put pretty much in at the deep end on the reception desk, I learnt quickly and got to know so much about the business.

“My job is really varied; on a typical day I answer any telephone calls and enquiries, distribute the post and assist other departments. In my customer care role I book customer appointments and manage databases and customer files.

“I have gained confidence within the workplace and when speaking with customers and outside companies. The staff at Rippon have given me so much help and support during my apprenticeship and I have been welcomed into the company with open arms.”

Rippon, based at Ransom Wood Business Park, has worked with Vision Apprentices for several years. The firm recruits at least one apprentice per year, in plastering, joinery, brickwork occupations, and more recently in office roles.

Wages controller Debbie Cartwright said: “We pride ourselves in giving people the chance to develop and move forward with their careers. We know how well apprentices work for the business and we’ve been privileged to see so many of them excel over the years.

“We’ve started employing apprentices at the office headquarters and our current receptionist Emily Wilson is getting along great, having just completed her apprenticeship with flying colours.

“Emily has matured and developed in her outlook and her skills. Working on reception, she’s learnt so many different aspects of the business – enabling her to see where her strengths lie for the future. She’s a versatile individual and does well in each task she applies herself to.

“It’s a big transition coming from school or college into the world of work, and I believe it’s the job of a business to nurture and train an apprentice. We empathise with apprentices, knowing they don’t have much experience – so it’s our job to provide the skills and motivation.”

“Apprentices aren’t about employing cheap labour; they’re about investing in new talent and creating opportunities for the individual and the business. We’ve found the fresh insights and new ways of working our apprentices bring to be so refreshing, and Emily is no exception.

“We’re delighted to have now taken her on permanently and as much as she’s learnt while training on her programme, she’s taught us a lot too.”

Johnston Press titles in South Yorkshire and the North Midlands, including The Star and the Doncaster Free Press have launched an awards scheme to recognise the increasing value of apprenticeships to the success of the region.

For more details, including online entry form and criteria for each category, visit

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