National Apprenticeship Week at homes4u

This week, to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, myself and Carolyn Mellor, the Owner and Managing Director of homes4u took on the challenge to swap roles for a few hours. In the role reversal, Carolyn took it upon herself to become the social media assistant, while I had a few hours in the shoes of the MD.  It was a great bit of fun and very insightful for both of us.

First of all we planned out what we were going to get up to so we could better understand each others roles. As it happened, one of the many tasks Carolyn had to do that day was to choose her period costume for a ball at the Lowry Hotel in support of Maggie’s Manchester Cancer Centre.

The ball was in period fancy dress to heighten the glamour of the occasion and was inspired by a famous oil painting which hangs in the Salford Museum and Art Gallery. Carolyn is on the Board of Directors at Maggie’s and at homes4u we are proud supporters of the charity. Read more about the Centres here.


Check out our video of Shaun and Carolyn's job swap. 

The job swap

The day came around quickly and before I knew it, it was time to step up to my new role. My experience involved looking through some of these amazing outfits that The Royal Exchange Costume Hire provides. Their costumes cover all periods from the Romans to the 1950s, with an extensive range of Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian costumes and for a morning, I played dress up. No dresses were tried on though, we didn’t take the role reversal quite that literally!

So what did we get up to on the day?

I tried on a variety of costumes dating back as far at the 1100’s and showcased them to Carolyn as she recorded each costume change. While it was not only great getting to try on the variety of outfits it was also a fantastic history lesson, learning about the style changes as the decades progressed.

Carolyn experienced what a day might be like for myself. She got to grips with how to record and upload content which Andrew, the Digital and Social Media Coordinator, kindly walked her through. Carolyn tried her hand at making a boomerang which seemed to go down well! For those of you who are not as social media savvy as Carolyn now is, Boomerang is a video app for making short, action-packed video loops.

The time flew by and after a few hours we had the bare bones of our content to edit into a video. You can take a look at the finished product above or on our social media channels. I would say Carolyn did a pretty great job for a first attempt! It must have been all of our fantastic guidance… What do you think? As we left the costume hire on Swan Street, Carolyn soon switched back into MD mode and said goodbye with the flash of a smile, phone to her ear and off to the next meeting of the afternoon.

On reflection...

The National Apprenticeship Week has been a perfect way for me to see another aspect of the business. It has allowed me to interact with more people at homes4u with whom I may have ordinarily not had the chance. It was a fun day and only further showed me I had made the right decision to get involved in social media. Although I was invited to the Maggie’s Ball, unfortunately on this occasion, Prince Charming could not go to the ball. There’s always next time…

Carolyn commented, “For me, it was a really fun day (especially being told what to do by my son) although to be honest not a lot was different in that regard! Having been introduced to the joys of social media on a personal level in the last twelve months, the process gave me a greater sense of understanding as to just how much work goes into the creation of content. I especially enjoyed learning how to make Boomerangs!”

Andrew Mellor, homes4u’s Digital and Social Media Coordinator added, “The National Apprenticeship Week is a great way to bring an employer and an apprentice together. It allows people to get a feel for other aspects of the business and appreciate what everybody brings to the team. It was especially interesting for me, being the line manager to my mother for the day! To be honest I was quietly impressed by her techy skills. Knowledge of the technology vocabulary though, there is still some room for improvement… One month in to his apprenticeship from The Juice Academy, Shaun has been progressing nicely and brought an extra element to the digital and social team.”