Desborough apprentice Doreen, 76, proves age is no barrier

Emma Dunn, Paul Carvell, Doreen Bindley and Julian Jones. Doreen, 76, is an apprentice at the Desborough Co-op
Emma Dunn, Paul Carvell, Doreen Bindley and Julian Jones. Doreen, 76, is an apprentice at the Desborough Co-op

A new apprentice is proving age is no barrier to gaining qualifications.

Doreen Bindley, who is 76, is an apprentice at the Desborough Co-op.

Currently a customer service assistant, she is Central England Co-operative Society’s latest recruit to its apprenticeship programme.

Doreen lives in Desborough and has worked at the Gladstone Street store for 17 years. She is three months into her apprenticeship programme and is relishing the opportunity to gain a recognised qualification.

Doreen said: “I never thought I’d be doing something like this at my age, but I’m so glad that I listened to my colleagues who said I should go for it.

“It’s been a long time since I was at school and it was quite daunting to think that I was going to be tested on things again. But doing an apprenticeship is all about learning on the job and I’m enjoying every minute of it.

“I get to do my job, surrounded by people I know and I’ll get a qualification at the end of it.”

Learning and development manager for Central England Co-operative Society, Jane Firth, said: “Doreen’s story is really inspiring and we hope that more of our more mature employees will consider following in her footsteps.

“Apprenticeship programmes are great for all involved. The individual gets to improve their skill levels and for the employer, they get to maintain a workforce that has the required skill set level without them having to be absent from the business.”

The managing director of Adaptive Business Support, Julian Jones, who works alongside Central England Co-operative Society on its apprentice programme, said: “Doreen is proof that apprenticeships are for everyone and that learning is fun, hugely satisfying and beneficial for individuals and employers.

“She has unknowingly encouraged many other people into joining the apprenticeship programme. Occasionally inspiration emerges from the most unlikely places, Doreen is truly an inspiration to me and my team, the effects of her story will continue to be far reaching.”

When she is not working or studying, Doreen is an active member of the local community and a committee member of the women’s section of The Royal British Legion.