A TEENAGER has become a trailblazer as the first apprentice to work in the self storage industry in Worcestershire. One of only three self storage apprentices in the UK, Robert Tonks, aged 17 from Malvern, has now accepted a full time position at Stock N Lock Self Storage in Lower Wick, Worcester, only eight months after beginning his apprenticeship there.

“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,” said Rennie Schafer, chief executive of the Self Storage Association UK. “It is fantastic that Stock N Lock have fostered Robert Tonks through the apprenticeship process and now into full time employment. The core principles of customer service and business administration taught in the apprenticeship process are key elements for a successful self storage manager, and I hope that Robert has a long and successful career in the industry.”

Debbie Rees, academy manager at Leaping Man Professional Qualifications, the vocational training provider managing Mr Tonks' apprenticeship, added: “Rob has received excellent support training from the Stock N Lock Self Storage team. This has given him the confidence to succeed and make a positive impact on the business.”

Throughout his apprenticeship, Mr Tonks has been learning skills and gaining knowledge to help him develop within the fairly new, yet flourishing self storage market. He said: "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 licence.”