Choose Local: Jack Lee, apprentice at Total Security Services
The benefits of apprenticeships are significant for both employer and employee. We chat with Jack Lee, who has successfully completed his apprenticeship at Total Security Services in Highams Park and is now a key part of the control room.
What made you decide to do an apprenticeship?
I was five or six months into doing my A-Levels at Highams Park School and I wasn’t sure what I was going to do when I was out of education. That’s when I decided that route into work probably wasn’t going to be for me.
I found the apprenticeship at TSS [Total Security Services] through the .gov website and thought it would be a really good opportunity to get experienced and be paid for it at the same time. The company had moved to a brand-new building which was a five-minute walk from my house so that was ideal really.
Doing an apprenticeship led to a full-time job, which I’ve been doing for nearly a year now.
What is your role at TSS?
I’m a controller, which involves frontline customer service. My role is to organise security at some of our big clients such as Tesco, Waitrose and Boots, sorting shift patterns for security guards. I liaise with managers and police officers, so I have a lot of responsibilities. It’s coming up to three years working here now and I have moved up to senior controller, securing a full-time position.
I now also help support and train new apprentices. It really helps that they have taken the same journey as me by doing an apprenticeship, and I try to be as helpful as possible by telling them that they have any questions or concerns, they shouldn’t hesitate to ask me.
I feel like I’ve really built up a rapport with people at all levels at the company, so I’m really enjoying it.
What would you say to others considering doing an apprenticeship?
I’d say it’s a great way to learn and gain experience while getting paid and it could lead to a full-time position.
It’s a great way of starting at a company without being thrown in at the deep-end and by the time you are ready for a role, you have the experience you need to feel confident of doing a good job.
What do you most enjoy about it?
There are great opportunities for career development and to broaden my horizons. I am currently responsible for places out to the west of London such as Reading, but my remit will be changing soon to take on more responsibilities for the south of England.
What would you say about the company?
It’s brilliant, we’re like a little family in the control room. People are always going out of their way to support each other, from apprentices to people at director level.
Where do you hope your apprenticeship will lead?
I’m gaining new skills and experience all the time and now have some management experience. There’s a BSO [Business Service Operator] role just above the position I have now, which would mean more responsibility and ownership of my [geographical] area.
There’s a big focus on recruiting internally at TSS, so I really hope to be able to grow within the company.