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Matthew Jarvis – Team Leader (Level 3), EMR

Jack Arksey

Meet Matthew Jarvis
Matthew Jarvis – Team Leader (Level 3) Apprentice

EMR, a global leader in sustainable materials, is committed to developing its staff to meet the future challenges and opportunities it faces. That means having a workforce with the skills and experience required and one of the most effective ways EMR does this is by offering a broad range of apprenticeships to employees across its operations.

Matthew Jarvis – who is one of 40 apprentices at EMR – is currently working towards his Level 3 Team Leader certification and is a great example of this approach in action.

And, having joined the business in 2021, Matthew says it didn’t take long for this training opportunity to be offered:

“I was at my previous company for eight years and never had an opportunity like this. Being able to progress my career and gain the experience required for a leadership role so quickly has made me feel very valued.”

And while his course is providing some of the theory of team leadership, the advantage of an apprenticeship is that Matthew is also able to learn the practicalities of managing a team.

“On the one hand I’m reading about project management, the different people who are responsible for each element and how easy it can be for things to go wrong – and how you can correct them.

“I’m also learning on the job what to do if, for example, a team member is off ill. How do I make sure all their tasks are being covered?”

There are still many misconceptions about apprenticeships, and Matthew is keen to emphasise that this isn’t about returning to formal education.

“Apprenticeships aren’t about going back to school where you’ve got someone telling you everything from the front of a classroom. With an apprenticeship you have the opportunity to go away and do your own research,”

he says.

In fact, one of the major challenges Matthew has found during his apprenticeship is making time for his learning while being busy completing his other duties:

“The apprenticeship requires you to have 20% of your work hours away your normal role, which can be a bit difficult. As an apprentice you’re also doing a job like any other member of the team.”

Matthew’s experience underlines the value EMR puts in its apprentices, who – if new – quickly become valued employees. If, like Matthew, they take on an apprenticeship as part of their career progression, apprentices continue to play an essential role in the running of the business.

And Matthew says he has also been impressed by the support he has received during his apprenticeship from his manager and the rest of the EMR team.

“I also have had mentoring from Heart of England which runs the apprenticeship course,”

he adds.

And because EMR invests in apprenticeships across its business, Matthew has been able to work with other team members on the Level 3 Team Leader apprenticeship:

“There are a few other people doing this course from EMR, one of whom is working at the same site as me. It’s really useful because, if you’re a bit unsure – especially with filling out the workbooks we need to keep – then you’ve got someone to speak to.”

While Matthew’s apprenticeship isn’t due to end until April or May, he’s already reflecting on the value of his experience.

“My apprenticeship has given me an opportunity to learn about EMR and the industry as a whole and I don’t think that would have been possible otherwise – that’s going to be something that I will carry with me for the rest of my career.

“I’ve now finished all the day courses I needed to attend. The last step is to prepare and deliver a presentation on one of four subjects which I have focused on. Once that is delivered the course will be over and, all being well, I will have completed the apprenticeship, ready for the next challenge.”