Name: Matthew Lissaman
Role at Häfele: Regional Sales Manager, London
"At 16, I was leaving school and looking at my options for future careers. Having always wanted to go into a management-type role, I was looking at college courses, attending open days and weighing up my options. By chance I opened a local paper to see that Heart of England Training were offering apprenticeships. I spoke to the college tutor and was advised an apprenticeship would be beneficial for me as I would be achieving the same accreditation while learning on the job and earning money.
I applied for an apprenticeship with Warwickshire County Council in their Business Resource Centre and got the role. Heart Of England Training were fantastic in helping to guide me through the training and completing my Advanced Modern Apprenticeship in Business Administration and Customer Service.
Fast forward a few years and I saw that Häfele were recruiting. One thing that really drew me to Häfele was their training programmes - the chance to further my education. I applied for a role in the Architectural Ironmongery Technical Department and was successful - this is where my journey with Häfele started. Since then, my career has progressed through several positions, through which Häfele has supported me with further qualifications through Heart Of England Training, including a Management qualification which I completed in 2018. I am now the Regional Sales Manager for London."
1. What was your first big project when you started at Häfele?
"My first big project at Häfele was helping to produce the glass section of the 2009 edition of The Complete Häfele: Architectural Ironmongery – an iconic piece of literature within Häfele and with our customers. This involved selecting the products, speaking to suppliers and setting up the pages for our product information department. I also completed my Diploma in the Guild of Architectural Ironmongers during this time."
2. What did you get out of the apprenticeship experience?
"A fantastic understanding of how real businesses were run and the ability to develop my skills outside the classroom. Starting an apprenticeship at 16 straight from school meant that I had to mature at a much quicker rate than many of my friends who were still at college completing classroom-based training. I also gained the same qualifications I would have at college with 2 years work experience, giving me an advantage in my next job role. More recently at Häfele, I have completed my Management qualification with the help of Heart Of England Training, which has allowed me to further develop my skills with regards to the management of my team."
3. What was it like working for Häfele when you first started vs what it is like now?
"I joined Häfele a couple of years after my first apprenticeship finished and was able to bring the skills I had learned during this to help me progress through the business. The company has gone from strength to strength in my time here and is very different to when I joined. A lot of this is down to technological advancement, streamlining and the people here."
4. What is your current team like?
"My current team are very diverse coming from many different working backgrounds and with a variety of experience. As a whole there is a great work ethic with all striving to deliver against their individual targets to help push the business forward."