By Martin Walker
A family-run distribution company is showing its commitment to training up young people by taking on a new Apprentice, while the number of young staff is at its highest number ever.
Stiller Warehousing and Distribution, based on Aycliffe Business Park, Newton Aycliffe, has taken on Keiran Jones after a string of Apprenticeship success stories.
The 17-year-old, from Newton Aycliffe, has just started his level 2 Apprenticeship in business administration through local training provider Optimum Skills.
He’s following in the footsteps of three employees who completed similar training programmes with the firm.
Former Sunnydale School pupil Jessica Tweddle, 23, from Middridge, has just finished her level 2 Apprenticeship in business administration while Jessica Walton, 20, from Spennymoor, finished the same Apprenticeship last year and now works in customer services – both programmes were delivered through Aycliffe-based training provider ITEC.
Ryan Bailey, 21, a former Greenfield College pupil from Newton Aycliffe, has been with Stiller for two-and-a-half years after completing a level 3 Apprenticeship in business administration, also through ITEC, and is now transport operator for the firm.
Managing Director Paul Stiller said: “We feel training young people is critical, while also employing experienced members of staff.
“We have a fantastic balance of highly-skilled, experienced people who are passing on their knowledge and knowhow to our young staff.”
Stiller’s young workers make up a total of 21 members of staff aged 25 or under, representing just under a fifth of its 115-strong workforce.
That also includes 24-year-old Lizzie Brophy, a former Teesside High School student from Eaglescliffe, who completed a psychology degree at Leeds Metropolitan University in 2010 and initially joined Stiller to cover summer holiday relief, but has recently been promoted to sales executive after working in customer services.
Paul added: “Lizzie is a fine example to show graduates that they don’t have to leave the North-East to climb the career ladder.
“She came to us as a graduate in psychology and has worked in various areas of the business until being promoted to sales executive recently and she thoroughly enjoys the job.”
Stiller last year announced a 20% turnover jump to £10.5m and has recently invested £1m in a fleet of state-of-the-art vehicles, while more than £3m has been invested in its 14-acre site in the last year.
The company’s premises, at the heart of Aycliffe Business Park, includes a 15,000-pallet store within about 160,000 square feet, which stores for 15 customers from varying industries, including the likes of Gestamp Tallent and 3M.
Stiller is the largest shareholder in national award-winning firm Palletline, which has 70 members across Britain and operates an impressive UK-wide distribution service.
• Pictured (above) Stiller Warehousing and Distribution managing director Paul Stiller (right) with his young recruits – Keiran Jones, Jessica Tweddle, Ryan Bailey, Jessica Walton and Lizzie Brophy.