Local employee wins Apprentice of the Year Award
Jonathan Chappell-Hobbs from Mixed Freight Services, airfreight specialists based near Heathrow, was awarded the national 2014 Level 2 Intermediate, Logistic Apprentice of the Year Award. We caught up with Jonathan to find out more about his promising career in the freight industry, how he got his start, and the award.
There were celebrations on Thursday 10th July, as Jonathan received the award at the Hounslow Chamber Cargo and Logistic Summit.
After coming through Heathrow Academy pre-employment training, Jonathan, a Hounslow local, found work through the academy at Mixed Freight Services. Once there, he came back to our training provider Outsource and was then put on an apprenticeship programme with Mixed Freight Services. From funny tasting canapes, to meeting Members of Parliament – Jonathan has had quite a year. Read our interview with him below.
What encouraged you to do the pre-employment training at Heathrow Academy?
Heathrow is the gateway to the world. There are links to so many different countries that each have their own diverse cultures and ways, giving people an opportunity to gain fantastic new experiences and feelings. Working with Heathrow Academy gives you the opportunity to be right at the doorstep of that, with all the goings on at Heathrow airport.
What interests you about logistics?
One of the main things that interested me is the fact that logistics is involved with pretty much every moment of everyday life. The skills learnt in the industry are very transferable. Things like meeting deadlines, staying organised and maximising efficiency. There are so many variables it can get stressful, but it keeps your mind sharp. It stays interesting and it’s always changing.
What were your best moments during the apprenticeship?
I would say the most meaningful moments were where I had to step outside my comfort zone to either pick up a phone with confidence or have the ability to voice an opinion to people twice my age, as well as managing the operations of 25 articulated vehicles all at one time and the list goes on.
I have also been invited to many events including visits with the Hounslow Chamber, Members of Parliament etc, trips to the GLA (Greater London Authority) and even British Airways Headquarters (Waterside) – where I actually did a presentation about myself to a majority of airline executives. Something I never thought possible.
Any funny moments?
Not being used to tasting all these fancy canapés at networking events, I started to drink this warm thick paste thinking this was the main piece. As it turned out, it was in fact the condiment and I had left the actual appetiser on my plate… ensuring I looked like a muppet for the rest of evening!
How did it feel to win Apprentice of the year?
I am absolutely delighted! I am still short for words, it has not sunk in properly as of yet. Even though I’m so glad all my hard work has paid off, I still feel it was a team effort. Many thanks to The Heathrow Academy, my training provider (Outsource Training) and company (Mixed Freight) who, hand in hand, gave me one of the greatest learning curves possible and it is still on-going.
What are your plans for the future?
One of my main ambitions, from the start, has always been to be able to support myself and others around me. At Heathrow the sky really is the limit. If I am able to increase the quality of my life and others’, as well as being able to manage and lead people who used to be in my position to a higher cause, then I would be more than satisfied. There are so many hidden gems out there capable of amazing things; they just need to get recognised.
What would you say to others thinking about doing an apprenticeship?
Just do it. There is a whole world out there waiting to be discovered and being stuck in a dead end 9-5 is not going to take you anywhere. Sometimes it’s hard seeing the bigger picture. Working with the Heathrow Academy lets you see a path and gives you a direction. Heathrow requires so many differently skilled people and is so diverse; there really is something to suit everyone.
Throughout his time with Mixed Freight Services Jonathan has shown a special talent in logistics, and is currently working towards an NVQ Apprenticeship in ‘International Trade & Logistical Operations’. After the spectacular year he’s had, there is already talk of Jonathan being put forward for ‘Advance Logistics Apprentice of the Year 2015’!
From all at Heathrow congratulations Jonathan and good luck for the year ahead!
For more information on the Heathrow Academy please visit www.heathrow.com/academy.