GAS Welcomes new cohort of Apprentices

Great Annual Savings Group is delighted to have welcomed its second cohort of Apprentices into the company.

Rachel McCourt, Ethan McGhin and Lewis Cummings completed their induction before moving into their job roles in Marketing & eCommerce, Customer Experience and Energy Management respectively.

Now into their second week, the trio are currently spending time acclimatising to the world of work and embedding themselves in their teams.

Fresh from completing her diploma in Health and Social Care at Sunderland College, 18-year-old Rachel decided against going to university in favour of launching her career.

The now award-winning GAS Apprenticeship Scheme attracted her with the promise of building a career, not a job.

She said: “When I came in for the assessment day I met a lot of ambitious people, which made me want the role more.

“I was initially interested in Recruitment, but Marketing caught my eye and is involved with departments across the business, which suits me.”

Outside of work, Rachel leads an active lifestyle. She lists motorbiking and paintballing amongst her interests. She’s also played for a ladies football team.

Lewis has said he’s enjoying the structure in Energy Management, helping him get up to speed with the working environment. He said: “It’s a big change but everyone has helped me take it in. I have my set tasks and if I have any questions I have a team around me to answer them.

“I found the apprenticeship on the Gov website and noticed there were a few different roles advertised, which is a bit of an anomaly – you only normally see one. But that shows the ambition of the company.”

Like Rachel, Lewis stays active. Although, perhaps in a more unusual way. He’s trained for some time with renowned Houghton Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) gym ‘The Fight Pit’ at Shiney Row. He is planning his first fight in March 2017.

Customer Experience Apprentice Ethan is also finding the transition a smooth one. He said: “The company is full of friendly people, making it easy to fit in and learn the ropes. I’m getting along well with the team, which is important.

“I saw the apprenticeship on the Gov website and saw that both the pay and the opportunities for progression were better than those elsewhere.”

The Seaham native is a big Sunderland fan and plays Sunday morning football himself for New Seaham Westlea.

We’ll be posting updates on our Apprentices’ progress as they develop their skills and careers at GAS.​

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Paul JohnsonGroup Financial Director

Paul Johnson is very much a home-grown talent.

He joined Great Annual Savings Group in its infancy, fresh from a youth career as a professional footballer with Hartlepool United.  He quickly established a reputation within the business and aced all required accountancy qualifications in the space of four years to become the Group’s Management Accountant.

Several successful projects later, Paul was promoted to Head of Finance.  When the former FD left GAS, he took on the mantle of the business’ most senior finance professional; boasting a string of incredible achievements all under the age of 30.

Quote:

“I have witnessed phenomenal growth at the Group over the many years I’ve worked here and I’m looking forward to guiding the Group into an exciting new chapter.”

Interesting fact:

Paul made his professional debut for Hartlepool United against Bournemouth in the Football League.  Some say Danny Ings still resides in his pocket to this day.