From education to employment

Autism Apprentice Packs Boxes of Success Working as John Lewis & Partners Warehouse Assistant

Working at John Lewis & Partners Blakelands warehouse, John Fortescue, from Ampthill, enrolled on a Supply Chain Warehouse Operative Apprenticeship run by the John Lewis Partnership in February 2018 and can now reflect with pride on how far he has come since joining the high-end department chain. He never imagined with autism that he would be able to feel success the way his colleagues, friends and family did but with the help of his employer and Qube Learning, a leading national training provider, his hard work and commitment has paid off as John recently celebrated not only passing his End Point Assessment but achieved a Distinction in all parts of it.

John’s career saw him previously employed in a pharmaceutical factory making and packing test kits for the medical sector worldwide, which he said ‘had similar protocols’ as his current role. However, it was not in an area he felt enthused by and knew that a looming expiry date meant a change was needed.

Joining John Lewis & Partners in 2013, the opportunity arose to gain a qualification towards the end of 2017 when the John Lewis Partnership advertised the Warehouse Apprenticeship course as a development tool. This allowed John to improve his warehouse expertise to assist the company in a challenging time in retail on the high street and online.

John’s time in the Partnership has allowed him to discover where his strengths are and realise, he is more than able to meet and excel expectations and that autism is not a barrier to his success. He finds the work life balance manageable and has seen the efficiency skills he has gained impact on his personal life too. Now a Warehouse Assistant Apprentice, he couldn’t be prouder of what he has achieved and his expanding knowledge in the industry.

John Says “Autism has presented many challenges for me. It has knocked my confidence, I’ve felt inadequate and compared myself to others but with support I have seen my world change. I have never felt such consistent belief in me professionally as I do at John Lewis & Partners, along with Qube Learning’s motivation and guidance it has given me bravery like I have never experienced before, and I can say I have passed with flying colours – a Distinction!

I know I can get through the end point assessment both with the paper and practical exam and have developed enhanced warehouse knowledge in everything I do, and I count these as great achievements. Going forward, I want to grow within my role and look forward to my journey here and in a personal setting.

For anyone looking to start an Apprenticeship programme, go with confidence, make sure tutors, local management and examination authorities are aware of any sort of impairment both physically or mentally, these will help shape your experience and finally, embrace it!”.

Qube Learning Skills Tutor, John Smith, says “Working with John has been inspirational, he has shown such force and determination to not be defeated. His courage is applaudable and he is a great example of not giving up and continuing to meet his goals. We have seen growth and progression on his apprenticeship programme and are excited to see what is next for him.

At Qube, we work with many individuals from many backgrounds and we commit to pushing them to meet their goals. We thrive off our student’s success as this is what keeps our business going, we help our students prosper and get the best out of working and learning whilst gaining invaluable expertise that will set them up for life. And, that is why important dates like National Apprenticeship Week are a great time to shout about the incredible Apprentice students and their work”

Qube Learning is proud to be an OFSTED grade 2 (Good) training provider and works with hundreds of employers across the country to deliver a range of training and qualifications to a multitude of learners.

The John Lewis Partnership has had over 900 Partners to date enroll on its apprenticeship programme. Partners can do apprenticeships ranging from LGV driving, hospitality, butchery, fishmongery, chef specialisms, customer Service, vehicle maintenance and repair and human resources.

Related Articles