New apprentice is no waste for firm

HIRED Luke Haskell
HIRED Luke Haskell
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Last year's winner of Employer of the Year, Digi Toolbox.  Picture: Keith Woodland.

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YOU’RE hired! An expanding waste management firm in Fareham has hired its first apprentice.

Luke Haskell, 19, has already started well at the TJ Group as a marketing and sales assistant, by reaching out to new customers through social media.

The former South Downs College student, who lives in Cowplain, is having his NVQ in business administration paid for by the company.

John Gosling, TJ’s operations director, said: ‘Quality apprentices, and the role they play in helping firms develop, have been very much on the national agenda recently, including regionally with The News.

‘We wondered if we were missing a trick and Luke, as a “digital native”, has already exceeded our expectations by evolving our online presence to generate new sales.

‘He is very much a productive part of the team, with ideas and drive.’

Luke, who is with Portsmouth-based training provider PETA, said: ‘It’s great to working with the TJ Group as part of my vocational learning – the mentoring I’m getting is first-class, with excellent learning opportunities.

‘The reality of business is a real eye-opener because nothing can be taken for granted and there is no room for complacency here.’

TJ was established by Terry ‘TJ’ Higgins 17 years ago as a sole trader, starting out in Havant with a portable cabin, a telephone, a contacts book and hired lorries.

Since then the business, now based in Wickham Road, Fareham, has transformed into a major independent player in a sector that contributes £5.5bn to the UK economy and employs 140,000 people.

It has a £14m turnover and services 3,000 businesses along the M27 and A3 corridors in Hampshire and Sussex.