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06 March 2018

Helping out at the family business turns into exciting career opportunity for apprentice

A summer break helping out at the family business turned into an exciting career opportunity for Evie Formhalls who is now office manager at Formhalls Vintage & Racing.
The 22-year-old was two years into a Stage Management degree at university when she decided to take over the administration and accounts for the company based in Downton and undertake a Level 3 Business Administration apprenticeship.
Evie said: “I had been helping out in the summer holidays when my dad had been unwell but loved it here and so I never went back to university.
“I did want a formal qualification though and so I felt the apprenticeship would not only help me learn the skills I needed to take over all the administration side of the business, but give me that qualification.
“The added bonus was that it was here on site.”
Evie said that the units covered within the apprenticeship and well as optional extra units ensured that she could be confident and skilled in every aspect of the running the administration side of the business.
She said: “Everything was so relevant to what I needed to learn here, but it also enabled to implement lots of new things.
“I’ve implemented a holiday policy, and systems to track part purchases and set up delivery records.
“The apprenticeship came at a really good time for the business as we had some changes in ownership with lots of big meetings and I produce monthly financial reports and cash flow updates.
“We are quite a small, intimate company with nine employees and some things were quite informal, so it was interesting as part of the apprenticeship to gain an insight into larger corporate business policies and how they operate.”
Since joining the company, which specialises in producing high quality white metals bearings and restoring, repairing and remanufacturing bearings and engine blocks for vintage and classic cars, Evie has set up social media pages and regularly updates their pages with information about what the mechanics are working on through posts and photographs.
She said: “A lot of our clients come from abroad so being on social media as well as well as having a website and being on the phone, is really important.
“It also helps spread the word about what we specialise in and what we are working on.
“I have gained a lot of knowledge about cars since working here, I can name all the parts and also have learned about different problems with engines, which definitely helps with ordering and customer queries!”
Evie completed her apprenticeship last summer and after being nominated for an award as the Wiltshire College Business Administration Apprentice of the Year, is looking forward to attending the awards ceremony this Thursday 8th March.
The annual celebration evening takes place during National Apprenticeship Week and is a chance for the College to mark the dedication and outstanding achievements of apprentices.