Apprenticeship for the best job in the world

Lauren Calvert, 19, joined John G Hogg Funeral Directors in Sunderland in November as an Apprentice Funeral Administrator. She explains why she chose to work in the funeral profession and why she loves her job.

Lauren’s first visit to John G Hogg’s Pallion funeral home left a lasting impression. Sadly, she had come to see her grandmother who had passed away.

“I just couldn’t go in, I ran out and was really upset. One of the team came to comfort me and I said ‘I don’t know how you can do this job.’” Gently he replied: “When you’re older you’ll realise it’s the best job in the world.”

Lauren had left school and was training in a pharmacy when she saw the Funeral Administrator apprenticeship advertised at John G Hogg. After a thorough interview process, she was really happy to be chosen to work in the business that had taken care of all her grandparents’ funerals.

Lauren explained: “I’ve been through losing my grandparents. I don’t want people to feel as bad as I felt.”

Her Business Administration apprenticeship includes online learning, coursework and a final presentation and exam and her aim is to secure a distinction. Lauren says it is a great way for anyone to find out if the funeral industry is the right choice for them.

Lauren has no doubts at all. Joining the business at such a busy time, as the second wave of the pandemic took hold, she has had to learn fast. In addition to administrative duties, she has supported families visiting the branch and the chapel of rest.

“I feel every day is different,” she said. “You get so many families that really appreciate what you’re doing.” Lauren hopes to work her way up in the business and to train as an embalmer.

Michelle Beveridge, Regional Support Manager for Funeral Partners, said: “From the first time I met Lauren at her interview, I knew we had found someone very special. Her passion for wanting to be in the industry and the desire to give that lasting impression to her families, as she had once received, was so amazing, especially for someone so young.

“John Hogg and I, as did the business, wanted to give someone the opportunity to join the industry and learn all aspects of it, and who better to do it with than John Hogg himself, who has three decades’ experience in the industry.

“Lauren joined at the most incredibly challenging time. She has worked incredibly hard, learning new skills, having to deal with difficult situations whilst delivering the impeccable high standards of the John Hogg brand, and all whilst studying for the apprenticeship. She is receiving incredible feedback from families too.”

Lauren concluded: “John Hogg has really helped me and I’ve already had a lot of training. I couldn’t imagine myself working for any other funeral directors.”

“My family have said even if I went to a different job, they would still go to John, they think so highly of him.”

For anyone interested in a job at Funeral Partners please visit our career page on our website for the latest vacancies: