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Midlands-based flooring retailer continues to develop staff through apprenticeships

Two team leaders at a Midlands online retailer are undertaking an apprenticeship to help them in their management roles as part of the company’s drive to support staff development.

Coventry-based UK Flooring Direct’s Manesh Parekh and Neil Masih have both signed up to management apprenticeships through DBC Training and will complete their courses over the next year-and-a-half.

Neil, 29, is a sales team manager having spent seven years with the company, which sells wood and laminate flooring to both retail and trade customers via its website and showroom.

He joined the business as a sales agent when he moved back to the region after graduating from the University of Chester and his risen to be a sales team manager overseeing a team of six people. He is completing a Coach Professional level 5 course with DBC Training.

Manesh, 37, made the move to UK Flooring Direct seven years ago after a career in the high-risk insurance industry.

He has climbed the ranks to be the company’s trade assistant manager, with six trade account managers and an administrator reporting directly into him. He is undertaking a Team Leader level 3 apprenticeship.

Ashleigh McKenna, UK Flooring Direct’s senior HR Advisor, said the company was committed to developing the team.

She said: “It is important to us as a business that we offer people opportunities to train, develop and grow with us.

“Manesh and Neil have both risen to be team leaders thanks to their knowledge and experience of the business and we were pleased that both have grabbed this chance to broaden their knowledge of leadership and coaching to help them in their day-to-day management roles.

“Apprenticeships used to be seen as courses for school-leavers but Neil and Manesh are living proof that they offer opportunities to develop yourself personally and professionally at every stage of your career.”

Neil said: “The apprenticeship is an excellent chance to develop myself as a leader and manager and it is great that the company offers this opportunity.

“I lead a team already and I know the business through and through, but this training will help me to document some of the work I already do and to develop even further.”

Manesh added: “When I joined UK Flooring Direct, I liked the fact that it was a family-run business and it has stayed that way as it has grown.

“Offering myself and Neil this opportunity to develop personally and professionally is a great example of that. I’ve been managing people on and off for many years but I did not want to pass up this chance to learn and achieve a qualification.”

Sarah Hardy, Business Development Manager at DBC Training, said: “‘It has been a pleasure working with Ashleigh, supporting UK Flooring Direct to utilise the apprenticeship programmes to further develop existing members of staff in their management role.

“I am looking forward to watching their journey and seeing them deeper develop their skills, knowledge and behaviours across their apprenticeships.’’

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Pictured: Manesh Parekh (left) and Neil Masih

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