19-year-old apprentice set to own same stake as co-founder at employee-owned business

Rob Henderson of Jerba Campervans

NEW apprentice at one of Scotland’s most prominent employee-owned businesses is set to own as much stake in the company as the co-founder.

Rob Henderson, 19, is the latest recruit to the Jerba Campervans team after applying for an apprenticeship earlier this year.

The former Edinburgh College student studied a HNC in Electrical Engineering before looking for a place of work to hone his skills.

The East Linton teenager was drawn to the VW conversion specialists after learning about their work ethos and employee benefits.

Rob, said: “Jerba caught my eye because it was a local business, and seemed to provide the platform for apprentices’ to develop different skills.

“I found the role on Twitter, and handed my CV in person, I felt that way I was able to create a good rapport from the off.

“The team have got me involved from the get go, and I have been shown the differing aspects of the business, which has given me the opportunity to understand everyone’s roles at Jerba, and enabled me to become more multi-skilled than I would’ve been otherwise, which is a highly employable trait.”

One of the aspects that attracted Rob to the apprenticeship was the T6.1 VW converters employee ownership model.

Since going 100% employee-owned in 2018, Jerba has increased its productivity year-on-year, and Rob believes the company’s employee-owned status has a direct result on the quality of work.

He added: “I did a lot of research into Jerba prior to my interview, and so I was aware it was an employee-owned business.

“However, working with the team you get an understanding of just how influential the model is. The quality of work is top of the range, and there is a lot of care and attention that goes into each conversion. There is a real care for the craft.

“You look forward to going to work, some people have been working here for 14 years. Everyone looks out for each other, and everyone receives the same flat rate bonus.

“I hope to grow in my role, and I would like to work here for the foreseeable future.

Rob started his apprenticeship in October, and come February 2022 will be able to have an equal share in the company like the rest of the team.

Co-founder of Jerba Campervans, Simon Poole, said: “It is very important that we continue to offer young people the opportunity to learn and develop new skills. It is an ethos that we have followed for many years, and will continue to do for many years to come.

“Rob has settled in brilliantly at Jerba and will no doubt prove to be a valuable team member for us in what we anticipate will be a busy and challenging year.

“We are committed to providing these opportunities to young people who are looking for a route into the sector, and each of us value the important role apprentices’ carry out in our workshop.”

As well as training and supporting younger generations; the small firm invests in its workers and is committed to sharing its knowledge and company ethos within the wider community, inspiring others to transition to an employee ownership model.

Converting Volkswagen T6.1 models, the North Berwick based firm is recognised by Volkswagen as a “body builder”.

With a dedicated and flexible team, the Jerba Campervan family adapts to the needs of their customers, creating a house on wheels with the highest UK level of road safety, assuring customers of a safe, and stylish ride. 

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