Coventry pet shop marks a year in business by taking on an apprentice

Pictured: Becky Harrington, owner of Purdy’s Pet Shop, John Colclough, business development manager at WCG, and apprentice Halle Forster

A teenager with a lifelong love of animals has begun an apprenticeship that will kick-start her career and see her play a key role in the development of her employer’s business.

Halle Forster, 18, started volunteering at Purdy’s Pet Shop on Cheveral Avenue in Radford, Coventry, shortly after the business opened in January last year.

Shop owner Becky Harrington was impressed with her contribution and has now taken her on full-time as an apprentice, studying Animal Care and Welfare Level 2 through WCG (formerly Warwickshire College Group).

Becky said: “When I opened the shop, I decided I wanted to give a young person the opportunity to get into this sector, someone with a different energy and dynamic, and new ideas. Halle had been volunteering with us and proved her worth so I decided to take her on.

“Putting Halle onto an apprentice was key really, because I want to really push forward into grooming and care, and to work with live animals it’s essential that as a team we have the required expertise and knowledge. What Halle will learn during her apprenticeship will be vital for the information that we pass on to our customers.”

Halle, a former student at Coundon Court, said: “When I finished school, traditional college studies didn’t really appeal to me so I’m really happy to have found my way onto this apprenticeship. I feel I’m learning so much from being in the shop day-to-day, and will be able to build on that practical experience through my apprenticeship studies.

“I’ve always loved animals. I’ve ridden horses since I was three and have dogs too, so it’s a natural progression to me to be working with animals.”

WCG is the largest college training provider for apprenticeships in the Midlands, training more than 2,500 apprentices each year and working with over 1,100 employers.

It will host a series of informative online live chats for employers and prospective apprentices as part of National Apprenticeship Week (8-14 February, 2021), an annual week-long celebration of apprenticeships and aims to showcase the benefits apprentices can bring to a business.

The online live chat sessions will be hosted by the heads of work-based learning at the college group and will cover a range of areas.


  • Engineering- Monday 8 February 2021 – 11am-12pm
  • Business & Professional – Tuesday 9 February 2021 – 11am-12pm
  • Motor Vehicle & Construction – Wednesday 10 February 2021 – 11am-12pm
  • Land-based – Thursday 11 February 2021 – 11am-12pm

Prospective Apprentices

  • Engineering – Monday 8 February 2021 – 5-6pm
  • Business & Professional – Tuesday 9 February 2021 – 5-6pm
  • Motor Vehicle & Construction – Wednesday 10 February 2021 – 5-6pm
  • Land-based – Thursday 11 February 2021 – 5-6pm

To reserve a free ticket for the online live chats and to find out more about apprenticeships and how they could benefit your business visit