Rising Star of 2021: James Porch

Winner - James Porch, DPD

Rising Star is awarded to young apprentices’ who have shown exceptional growth or development within their role and are the ones to watch for the future. 17-year-old James Porch couldn’t be a more worthy winner of the award this year.

James was recruited by Intec straight from school, joining logistics giant DPD as a Business Administrator (Level 3) Apprentice in January 2020 at just 16 years old. Moving from school into a workplace environment is daunting for any young person: James was initially very quiet and reserved. However, throughout his time at DPD and with the support of his tutor, managers and colleagues he has grown into a mature hardworking young man and a valued member of the DPD team.

One of the biggest challenges for James was his confidence: “My confidence has developed hugely since I started my Apprenticeship. Whereas before I would be too worried to make decisions by myself, I am now able to make decisions confidently on my own.” James has also developed his communication and interpersonal skills. “When I started in my Apprenticeship I was put in a team of people of all ages and I thought I wouldn’t make it, but I did and have since developed a good rapport with all of my colleagues.”

Credit Manager, Suzanne Henley who supports the apprentices, is pleased with his progress: “James was fresh out of school and joined a team which was established and very busy. However, he did not let this dampen his ability to get stuck in and learn. He actively asks if he needs any help or support and is great at communicating with his Team Leader. James has developed not only professionally but as a person becoming more outgoing and a trusted member of the team.”

James efforts have been recognised across DPD, Claims Manager, Ross Whiting says: “I am very proud of how far James has come in such a short space of time and I am very glad to have him as a member of my Department.  Hardworking, timely and a great individual - what more could you want!”

James is now encouraging other apprentices: “Recently I have had to complete a presentation in front of all the other apprentices in DPD and I received some very positive feedback.”

“It was Amazing”, comments Suzanne.

James has also had to contend with the added challenge of working during the COVID Pandemic. “I had only been inside the office for a couple of months before lockdown, which forced me to work from home and meant I had to get used to remote training. I also switched departments for a month and had to learn a whole new role remotely which was difficult, but I managed to adapt to the new circumstances.”

His tutor Sandra Chappell agrees and has been impressed with the commitment James has shown: “James has never met me in person and all of our meetings have been remote. He completes all of his work on time and has never missed an appointment. All of James work is of a high standard and I have seen him grow in confidence. James is keen to have a career within DPD and this is evident by the interest he shows in both his job role and in the apprenticeship.”

“As a business, we have core values that we expect to be demonstrated by every employee - Passion, Respect, Honesty, Flexibility, Hard Work and Accountability. As James has developed, he is clearly demonstrating all of these Core Values and is delivering the same level of quality in his work as some of the more experienced members of the team. He certainly has a great future career with DPD.” – Suzanne Henley.

Apprentices like James highlight what apprenticeships are all about, providing people with the skills they need to excel in the workplace.  “This apprenticeship has really helped me transition from school to adult life. It has got me used to a professional environment, and I have gained many skills and attributes, which will contribute hugely to helping me in the future. When reporting to a manager, I am treated the same as everyone else and not as someone who has just left school and learning the job for the first time.”

James clearly has a bright future ahead of him at DPD!