FORESTRY equipment supplier Green-tech is providing its employees with the opportunity to study for a higher education qualification while continuing to work, by offering degree apprenticeships.

Designed in partnership with employers, higher and degree apprenticeships offer a higher education qualification, work experience and industry-relevant skills to create graduate calibre individuals within an organisation. Leeds Trinity University will be running the degree apprenticeships for Green-tech.

Three of Green-tech’s team across the marketing, IT and purchasing departments have enrolled in the courses. Kate Farrer, marketing executive has recently started a digital marketing degree, George Shepherd a software engineering degree and Sarah Whitley a supply chain degree.

George started with the company as a customer service apprentice. After successful completion he progressed to the online and marketing department and has recently been promoted to IT Systems Automation Lead. This role sees him operating as a support link between the commercial and IT departments, working with their CRM system, SAP Business One. George has been encouraged to advance further and is being supported to undertake a three-year software engineering degree.

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George commented: “Enrolling for a degree apprenticeship supported by Green-tech will give me the opportunity to progress personally and professionally which will help me to achieve my goals for later life.  I will be working my full-time job which will really help with my apprenticeship, I’ll be developing my knowledge, gaining a degree qualification and getting paid. It’s a win-win for me.”

Sarah Whitley is Green-tech’s buyer. She forecasts and buys the thousands of product lines Green-tech sells. She also looks after all pricing enquiries for non-stock items. Sarah is undertaking a BSc (Hons) Professional Practice in Supply Chain Leadership which will take her 3.5 years to complete.

Sarah added: “Throughout my employment, I have always made it clear that I’ve wanted to progress professionally, and Green-tech has always been receptive to that. During the four years I’ve worked here, I’ve been promoted three times, each time gaining more responsibility. Studying for a work-based degree will aid me in becoming better in my current role so that I can better support the Green-tech team and it will also give me a professional/academic qualification that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.”

Rachel Kay, Green-tech managing director, said: “It’s important for our business that we invest in our people and encourage them to have a worthwhile and meaningful career, especially the younger generation just entering the landscaping industry. Our commitment to career development is appreciated by our people and one of the reasons our staff retention rates are high.”

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