Talented Wakefield apprentice, Jessica Heppleston, 17, is one of six finalists in this year’s Retail Week Rising Star Awards. Judged by the UK’s top retail bosses, in association with Theo Paphitis, this national competition celebrates the brightest and best future leaders and Jessica will be at London’s Grosvenor Hotel on Thursday 5 October to find out if she’s this year’s Apprentice of the Year.
Electrical wholesaling might not be the most obvious career choice but Jessica, who’s a Trade Counter Apprentice with Jack Hinton’s in Wakefield (part of national wholesale chain Edmundson Electrical) has clearly found her niche, “I really love working on the trade counter,” she says “talking to customers and making a sale.”
Jessica makes sure that her customers - electricians and contractors - get the products they need quickly and efficiently. Juggling her time between the trade counter and warehouse, with its vast range of technical products, has meant that Jessica has had to get to grips with a whole new language. “I thought before I started it would be difficult being a 16-year-old female but I haven’t found that at all, actually the most difficult part has been learning not only the product names and codes, but also the industry jargon our customers use,” she added.
Career-focussed, Jessica, has her sights set on becoming a Branch Manager, adding, “I hope I can have one of the top performing stores in Wakefield one day. I really love my job and coming to work every day and I hope that when I’m a manager, my team feel like that as well!”
Jessica’s apprenticeship in Trade Business Services Level 2 is delivered by The Source Skills Academy, Sheffield, on behalf of the Electrical Distributors’ Association (EDA), a membership organisation representing the UK’s electrical wholesalers and EDA Apprenticeships Plus, who manage the EDA’s apprenticeship programme.