A young apprentice has proved his business credentials by leading a North East storage firm up to capacity in just five months.
Joe Nicholson was challenged with boosting the order book at Billingham-based Box Clever when he took on the role of business manager.
Now, Box Clever is up to capacity with almost 500 caravans, trailers and storage containers securely stored at the 2 hectare site with a healthy waiting list building up.
And 19-year-old Joe is eyeing expansion with dozens of new containers ordered and the possibility of opening an additional site to meet demand.
He said: “When I was appointed business manager for Box Clever I realised it was quite a responsibility for a 19-year-old. But it’s hands on responsibility and the kind of challenge I enjoy.
“The growth appears to be coming from positive movement in the housing market, as people look to move house again.
“But we’re also getting a lot of interest from small businesses for the storage units and we’ve never been busier with the caravans.
“We have ordered 78 brand new storage units and are beginning to look at a new site between Stockton and Darlington.”
Joe, from Sadberge near Darlington, was taken on as a business administration apprentice at Box Clever’s parent company The Nicholson Group last year and initially worked within its 55,000 sq ft warehouse.
But he soon graduated to the office managing pallet deliveries across the UK before being appointed business manager of Box Clever in the spring.
The Box Clever facility has capacity for up to 500 caravans with security features including automated gate access operated by key fobs, an enhanced CCTV system and flood lighting.
Customers hire the storage units for all kinds of uses including businesses for filing of old documents, homeowners, market traders, rock bands and vintage car and motorcycle enthusiasts.
The Nicholson Group is a passionate advocate of apprenticeships and has provided many opportunities for young people including drivers, office roles and warehouse operatives.
Managing director David Nicholson said: “It is part of The Nicholson Group strategy to bring young people through the business as forward thinking future leaders.
“It’s a pathway that has taken some time but we are now starting to see some fantastic results and Joe has shown enormous potential in growing Box Clever so quickly.
“I’m a firm believer in the value of apprenticeships. They are an investment for the future and I have seen time and time again, apprentices who have progressed to long and fulfilling careers.”