One of those apprentices is Jayleigh Price who has been working at PCP studying the BPIF Level 3 Apprenticeship in Machine Print.
We interviewed Jayleigh for National Apprenticeship Week and this is her story so far…..
‘When did you start at PCP and what attracted you to the apprenticeship programme?’
“I started in March 2016 so I’ve been employed now for nearly two years. I saw the job advertised on the internet and I thought it looked like something I wanted to do, so I applied. I don’t like office work, as I’ve always been more of a practical person and prefer on-the-job tasks and activities. So that is what attracted me to the apprenticeship programme.”
‘How would you describe your experience so far?’
My experience so far has been great. At first I started in the bindery but when an opportunity came up in the printing side of the production I decided to go for that and I’m glad I did. I was in print for a few months learning the assistant role on the Manroland. After this I started to train on the 6 Colour Mitsubishi Sheetfed press. I was only learning the basics and how to UV. It was an amazing opportunity to see how well I’d picked up the training and to run the machine. When the 6 Colour was replaced with a newer press I started to train on the 10 Colour Heidelberg Sheetfed Press. I’m currently still training on this press and will be for the rest of my apprenticeship. My mentors have both really helped me progress massively so my experience has been amazing as I’ve had the opportunity to go on a variety of machines and learn and develop my knowledge with different people.
‘How do you balance your studying alongside working full-time?’
“I do prefer practical over theory but I don’t mind it. We have coursework to do every couple of months but I do find it helps me when working on the job. For example, if we learn about the different chemicals to be aware of, it improves my safety and knowledge when dealing with the machinery. I like to keep PowerPoints and revision materials so when I work alone instead of asking for help, I can refer back to my notes to see how and what I do.”
‘What benefits do you feel you gain because you are on an apprenticeship scheme?’
“Definitely a lot more help, I receive continuous training whereas if I came into the company as a normal employee it would be a lot less. The salary is also a nice benefit and I can learn on the job.”
‘Do you think you’d get the same benefits if you went to university or took a different career path?’
“I think it would be different benefits. On an apprenticeship, you learn the theory and then put it into practice straightaway, whereas at University you learn the theory for the majority of the time and you don’t put it into practice until after you graduate. I can benefit from what I learn almost instantly. It’s also a good start to getting on the employment ladder and an opportunity to get your foot in the door and work your way up.”
‘Do you feel continually supported in your job role and comfortable suggesting new ways of doing things?’
“Yes 100%, if I don’t understand something my colleagues show me diagrams and explain it a different way. I get on really well with all the different mentors and I also get involved in activities. If I feel more comfortable doing something a different way they are happy with that and always encourage me to suggest new ideas.”
In your opinion do you think apprenticeships offer a good career path?
“Yes definitely, well I am guaranteed a job after so I am in a better position than someone with no experience. Even if I didn’t have a guaranteed job, I have the experience so it gives you the flexibility to move around.”
‘What are your plans for the future? Have they changed since you starting your apprenticeship?’
“Well I wanted to be a footballer but now I’ve started this job I’m definitely a lot more driven and I want to work my way up in the business and I’m always offered new qualifications and training opportunities.
(Jayleigh Price pictured with Mentor Dave Drinkwater on the10 Colour Heidelberg Sheetfed Press)