In these days of ever-changing Retail staff, stores and trends it’s nice to hear the good news of an MIA member that is focusing on retaining and growing the skills of their staff.
Dawkes Music in Berkshire specialise in Woodwind & Brass and they have a team of specialist staff, many of whom they’ve trained in-house using their ‘Academy’ system. This August two of these staff members celebrated their 10 year anniversary with Dawkes and got a bottle of Champagne each from Managing Director Jon Dawkes to enjoy… not near the instruments though!
Abi Taylor joined Dawkes after leaving school and being encouraged to try out Woodwind Repairing by her Bassoon teacher of the time. Abi wrote to Dawkes asking for a weeks work experience in their workshop and totally fell in love with fixing instruments. Jon Dawkes remembers her first few days – “Abi was totally at home in the workshop after just a few sessions, our Workshop Manager Gary Hobdell saw great promise and we offered her a working apprenticeship in the technical team which she jumped at!”.
Ten years later Abi has grown in experience and taken various training courses to add to her knowledge, she is now the Workshop Manager for Dawkes and tell us “My knowledge-building adventure has been endlessly fulfilling, and I still feel as engaged with repairing as I did during my first week here.”
Matt Sanders is currently one of the Brass Specialists at Dawkes, a position he enjoys as it allows him to spread the Brass ‘gospel’ far and wide. Matt has experience in classical, big band, jazz and more but his first love is Brass Bands. He tells us – “I’ve been working with Dawkes Music for around 10 years now and every day is different! For me, the most rewarding part of the job is helping new players, young and not so young, to get their first notes on an instrument. There is nothing better than seeing that smile when it all starts to click in to place!”.
Matt and Abi are not the only staff with big work anniversaries this year as Jon Dawkes explains – “We’ve actually got six members of staff celebrating 10 or more years of work with us in 2018, including my brother David Dawkes who’s in the lead with 30 years of experience! It’s important to us to have happy staff who feel part of the family and strive to create, inspire and support new musicians at all levels.”