National Apprenticeship Week

Sam Gallacher – Junior Project Manager, Group Product & Technology

Sam Gallacher – Junior Project Manager, Group Product & Technology

Tell us about your experience of being an apprentice?

I joined Manheim as an Apprentice Project Manager in March 2014 along with Katy Sharp. I spent my first year shadowing project managers on various projects and was then given the responsibility of managing my own projects. Alongside this, I studied in Manchester with QA, the UK's leading business and IT training company, for 5 weeks over the two-year course. The apprenticeship consisted of two exams and a portfolio of coursework. I completed the course in 2016 and have now been promoted to Junior Project Manager in our Group Product & Technology team.

Why did you want to be one, what attracted you?

After completing my A-levels, I was in two minds as to whether to go to university and get a degree, or get a full-time job to gain experience and earn money. Starting an apprenticeship was the best of both worlds, as I could gain experience while studying for a qualification and earn a full-time wage at the same time – it was a no brainer.

Looking back on your time as an apprentice, what was the single biggest learning or highlight?

My highlight has to be the opportunity to travel and work with colleagues from the international businesses. During 2015, I was able to travel to Manheim Turkey and Manheim Australia as I was involved in the implementation of Simulcast, our online bidding platform for vehicle auctions, into those markets. This was an amazing experience that I will never forget. It was great to see how the business operated in different cultures and a brilliant opportunity to build relationships with colleagues from around the world.

What would you say to a manager to convince them of the benefit of having an apprentice in their team?

I would advise that employing apprentices can add great value to any team. Through classroom learning, they can bring new methods of working and drive best practice.

If you were to recommend an apprenticeship to a team member, what would you say?

I would certainly recommend an apprenticeship to team members who are looking to progress their career in Cox Automotive, as it would allow them to get a qualification while still working, building experience and relationships. Cox Automotive now offers apprenticeships in various different roles so it’s an exciting time to be considering one!