The traditional American dream dictates that you finish high school, go to college, and in four years, enter the real world and start a family. Society suggests that those who deviate from the norm even in the least bit will undoubtedly “miss a step” will result in life veering off balance. The self storage industry in the UK is challenging the perception of those of us in the United States. Store N Lock is giving persons out of high school the opportunity to take a less traditional route to success in the form of an apprenticeship
Store N Lock, in conjunction with the Leaping Man Professional Qualifications (LMPQ) program, hired 17-year old Robert Tonks from Malvern, Worcestershire, England. The LMPQ is a vocational training program that is a part of the Leaping Man group of companies. It claims to offer the “perfect alternative to university” where persons can develop nationally and internationally recognized skills and qualifications.
Tonks began working for Store N Lock as one of the only three self storage apprentices in the entire UK. He was hired for full time employment after only eight months. Rennie Schafer, chief executive of the Self Storage Association UK had nothing put praise for the apprenticeship program, “Very few apprentices are employed within the self storage industry in the UK and I commend Stock N Lock's owner Charles Rodway and his team for taking up this initiative.”
At the conclusion of his apprenticeship, Tonks lauded the program and the skills he was able to develop as a result of participating. "I would recommend the apprenticeship route to anyone. My confidence has grown immensely since joining and I am learning ‘best practice’ business skills from my colleagues here. I’ve even gained my counterbalance forklift truck license.” He told the Tewkesbury Admag.
The self storage industry in the UK is small and relatively new when compared to the booming industry in the United States. The apprenticeship program is a novel idea that could help to introduce self storage as a career to people who never previously considered that path. Those of us in the US should keep a sharp eye on it.