2 Nominations for prestigious Themis Inspire and Achieve Awards

17 December

Being a highly specialised engineering business, with customer service in our DNA, we find it hard to recruit staff with relevant work experience. We have found that we not only have to thoroughly train staff coming from other businesses, but also to “untrain” habits that don’t fit with our values. This has led us to consider apprenticeships and degree apprenticeships.

Our first business admin apprentice joined in spring 2017. Under Gillian’s guidance she quickly made a significant contribution to the business, taking on the quotation to shipment process and even servicing customers independently whilst developing important and transferable business skills, which will be useful in her future career. Building on the positive experience, apprenticeships became an integral part of our recruitment strategy. Gillian developed a tight relationship with Themis. In spring 2018 our second apprentice, Francesca, came on board, initially in a business admin role.


Encouraged by Gillian, who believes that the key benefit of an apprenticeship is the discovery of the discipline that suits the apprentice best, Francesca moved on to accounting. In the first year of her apprenticeship Francesca had experienced the full breadth of our business including sales. Accounting, however, had become her passion.


She comments: Whereas sales can be chaotic, I love that accounting is organised. All daily tasks make total sense – they are the backbone of the business, without them the business could not function.

Fast forward to December 2021:

Francesca is still with us. She has completed her AAT level 2 & 3 apprenticeships. For 2022, AAT level 4 followed by CIMA is on the agenda. Francesca still loves her work in accounts, where she has taken on more responsibility, e.g. month end procedures, stock valuation,  as well as full control for purchasing. She places 6-digit purchase orders with companies from all over the world and works with custom agents to comply with post-BREXIT regulations. She has taken on the responsibility for ISO supplier evaluations and is looking forward to take on more accounting responsibility in the new year.

Since 2017, FloControl has accomodated 8 apprenticeships in Business Admin, Sales Admin, Warehouse & Manufacturing & Lean Manufacturing. Gillian has developed a structured approach, involving line managers and peers into the training program, which helps new apprentices to quickly find their footing and to get an overview of the business.

However, the most important part of the training program is the personal mentoring, a role Gillian has adopted with passion. Having a confidant in the business has proven to help our apprentices overcome fear, keep course work on track and deal with personal issues, while recognising and respecting that every apprentice has her/his own way of learning.

We are delighted that Gillian and Francesca are being recognised for their achievements and contributions as finalists for the “Commitment to Apprenticeships Award” and “Absolute Apprentice – Platinum Award”. Congratulations to both of you!

The winners will be announced in a ceremony on the 10th of February 2022! We keep our fingers crossed!