MEGAN SIMPSON: MY KEYLINE APPRENTICESHIP JOURNEY
Here at Keyline Civils Specialist, we offer a wide range of development opportunities and apprenticeship programmes. These include work placements for 16 to 24 year-olds, as part of the Government’s Kickstart Scheme, and apprenticeships for all levels - from new recruits joining our business to higher level programmes to support the development of great leaders. All of our apprenticeships are designed to help colleagues grow their skills and prepare for the next step in their career.
We recently caught up with Megan Simpson, Sales Negotiator based at our Portsmouth branch to find out more about her experience of working towards the Trusted Civils Expert Level 2 apprenticeship. 

CAN YOU GIVE US AN OVERVIEW OF YOUR EXPERIENCE TO DATE?

I started out working in hospitality – but in 2019 I decided to make the jump and join Keyline. I was looking for a job that would give me new skills and offer me a clear development route and my role here offers just that. Since joining, I have been blown away by the support of my colleagues and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THE KEYLINE TRUSTED CIVILS EXPERT LEVEL 2 APPRENTICESHIP?

The merchant industry was completely new to me – which is why an apprenticeship seemed like the best route. I have been able to build my knowledge of the civils sector and products, whilst still fulfilling my role as Sales Negotiator. Being in branch also means that I can put what I learn into practice and ensure that I am someone that customers and colleagues can rely on to give top-notch customer service. 


FOR ANYONE LOOKING TO TAKE ON A SIMILAR ROLE, CAN YOU EXPLAIN WHAT THE KEYLINE TRUSTED CIVILS EXPERT LEVEL 2 APPRENTICESHIP ENTAILS?

This apprenticeship is specifically designed to help new recruits like me learn more about the sector, the civils and drainage products Keyline stocks and their individual job role. The apprenticeship is very diverse. It’s broadened my product knowledge, deepened my understanding of what it takes to deliver quality customer service and helped me take a proactive approach to ensure customers’ needs are met, and in the most efficient way. I am also learning more about Keyline and how it operates as a business. 

I’d say one of the best things about the apprenticeship is that you can work on it alongside your day-to-day role. This means you can put what you have learnt into practice instantly and gain valuable experience in branch with the support of your colleagues.


WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR APPRENTICESHIP AND ROLE AS SALES NEGOTIATOR AT KEYLINE?

The apprenticeship has taught me so much about the products Keyline stocks and I feel this has really boosted my confidence when talking to customers and taking orders. I now love meeting new people and building relationships with customers – and since joining, I have had the chance to look after and manage two big accounts. As Sales Negotiator, I love going the extra mile and seeing the positive end results.    

My job is so diverse and it’s great that there is always something to get my teeth into. Keyline offers a number of other, higher level apprenticeships and this opens up opportunities for growth and gives me so many options in terms of progression.  


HAVE THERE BEEN ANY PARTICULAR CHALLENGES THAT THE APPRENTICESHIP HAS HELPED YOU OVERCOME?

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many aspects of my role now have to be done remotely. This has meant that sadly there haven’t been as many opportunities to get hands-on product training – and it has also been difficult not interacting with colleagues, customers and suppliers face-to-face. However, the apprenticeship has filled this gap with, for example, virtual product training with suppliers, giving me useful insight into the business and products that I can apply to my role. 

WHAT IS THE MOST VALUABLE LESSON YOU FEEL YOU’VE LEARNED SINCE STARTING YOUR APPRENTICESHIP?

That it is very important to keep up to date with your workload and make sure you can manage your time effectively. Keeping on top of things has kept me calm and enabled me to give my best in everything I do at Keyline.

WOULD YOU RECOMMEND THE TRUSTED CIVILS EXPERT, LEVEL 2 APPRENTICESHIP TO ANYONE ELSE LOOKING TO KICKSTART THEIR CAREER AT KEYLINE?

Yes, 100%! This apprenticeship will boost your confidence and knowledge - and teach you about the values that the Travis Perkins group has to offer. It will also motivate you to be better at what you do.

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