Meet Paula - our 2500th Apprentice!

The former government worker joins our funeral family

We are absolutely committed to providing an excellent apprenticeship scheme to as many people, from as many walks of life as possible. Our training programme started in 2013, and since that time we are proud to say we have reached the impressive milestone of 2500 apprentices joining our teams! And it’s not just quantity that we’re after, we also have the quality, and last year we were recognised for this with a Princess Royal Training Award.

So who is our 2500th apprentice? Paula Bourner is 48 years old from Yorkshire and perhaps not what you might think of when you think of apprentices. But the truth is our apprentices don’t fit into a mould, and across the business we have a range of people, aging from 21 all the way up to 71. Lots of people come to us wanting to retrain and bring with them a wealth of experience from other professions – this was the same with Paula…

Paula’s previous career was in the government working as an Immigration Officer. She spent twenty years developing all manner of skills, including strong organisational skills and being able to speak to people from all backgrounds, but it was her caring nature that led her to the Funeral Industry.

Commenting on her new role, Paula said: “After 20 years as a civil servant I never thought I’d be working in the funeral industry, but the career change was the best decision I’ve made. As an apprentice, every day I get to support families through what can be the hardest times of their lives and I never knew a job could be so rewarding.’’

The success of our apprenticeships scheme lies in the amazing and diverse people that apply to be a part of it. Karen Seth, our People Director, said ‘’It’s a great achievement for the business to welcome our 2,500th apprentice on board. Our intention has always been to provide people from all backgrounds with the opportunity to develop a worthwhile career in funerals. Providing they possess empathy, ambition, excellent service and organisational skills, we can teach everything else on the job.”

We hope to welcome a further 400 apprentices to our teams this year, find out more about what’s involved here.

For further information contact

Sarah Pyatt

Press Officer