Apprentice Week Success Story from The British Hamper Co - The British Hamper Company

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Team Stories: From Apprentice To Team Leader

09 Feb 2024

To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, we want to shine a light on our Operations Team Leader, Charl Benadie, who joined us as an apprentice at the very beginning of our journey.


After finishing school and moving onto part-time jobs, Charl desired a more permanent opportunity on a long-term basis, so started looking into apprenticeships. Enticed by the idea of learning on the job and gaining a qualification while being able to financially support himself, Charl’s interest was piqued when he came across the opening for an Operations Assistant apprenticeship with us at The British Hamper Company HQ.

We launched the first apprenticeship scheme in 2017. The aim was to grow the small team and train someone who could become a long-term team member as the business grew.


Joining the team in June 2017, Charl became the sole apprentice at the company. He got stuck in off the bat with the nitty-gritty of the operations – picking, packing, and sorting orders. The apprenticeship provided hands-on experience and led to a warehousing and storage qualification, enriching his skillset for life.

Charl was captivated by our family-run business as it was in the early stages of its development, and he saw this as a great opportunity to become a part of its evolution. Charl was also drawn in by our strong focus on staff well-being and culture. During the apprenticeship, we ensured a healthy work-life balance for Charl, allocating mornings for on-the-job training and afternoons for coursework. Regular appraisals, weekly check-ins, and mentoring by the Operations Manager provided a structured support system. Charl appreciated the familial spirit, where everyone pitched in across departments, especially during peak seasons.


Life skills developed during the apprenticeship, such as organisation and planning, were instrumental in Charl’s personal and professional growth. Learning the ropes of managing people during peak seasons added a practical edge to his skill set.

After completing the year-long apprenticeship, Charl stayed on as an Operations Assistant, until 2021 when he was promoted to the role of Operations Team Leader. He is now the longest-serving employee and has had the opportunity to be involved with every aspect of the operations to continue to widen his skill set beyond the apprenticeship.


Reflecting on his career path and offering his advice to other aspiring apprentices, Charl says; “Apprenticeships are more than just a job; it’s a chance to make mistakes, learn on the go, and be mentored by an established employee. You need patience, a willingness to not be afraid to ask questions and a keenness for learning to really thrive. I knew I had to find the right company that matched my values and invested time into nurturing my development, which is exactly what I got from The British Hamper Company.”


James Tod, our Managing Director shared his thoughts, “When Charl joined us on an apprenticeship, we were a lot smaller than we are now. We could see the apprenticeship had the potential to be a win-win for employer and employee, but we could never have dreamed that he would go on to be such a fundamental team member for so many years. I am so proud that as we have grown, Charl has grown with us.”


When not overseeing operations, Charl indulges in his favourite hamper items – Teoni’s Spiced Fingers during the festive season, and marshmallows from The Naked Marshmallow Co throughout the year.

Away from work, Charl finds solace in connecting with nature and a well-planned holiday to Scotland is on the horizon – once the weather starts to brighten up, of course.