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Ben is currently completing a 3.5 year City & Guilds Level 3 apprenticeship in engineering at Coveris’ labels site in Spalding, UK. Ben is now in the second year of his apprenticeship and has spoken to us about his experience so far.
So Ben, why did you decide to apply to work at Coveris?
I was considering my career options after leaving school and was interested in engineering and looking for an apprenticeship. Someone I knew suggested Coveris, so I did some research and got in contact.
How has the second year of your apprenticeship been?
Really good, both at college and at work! A year on, I can do more so much more because of my experience and knowledge which has given me a lot more freedom within my job. Learning more at college has enabled me to do more in the working environment and I can really see the progress. Last year most jobs were done through shadowing, whereas now I am working mostly independently – though I always know that if I have a problem I can go to my mentor for support. Having just completed my Level 2, over the next few weeks I’ll be moving on to Level 3 which will be more classroom and theory based. As I now move to more written assessments I feel confident that I’ll be supported and given any extra study time if I need it.
What did your training involve?
As I was completely new to the role, I started right at the beginning of the Customer Service training process. I got a training plan and was allocated a mentor who I job shadowed daily, which gave me the chance to learn and ask any questions. Over a period of around 6 months, they give you work to do to build up your confidence so you can then start working independently. My trainer was fantastic and on top of the daily work, I had weekly reviews and any problems you could speak to your mentor or supervisor at any time. As well as having a mentor you are part of a wider team, which was around 15 people in our office. The end point assessment as part of my Trailblazer was split into two parts, the first half was a ‘showcase portfolio’ which was all the work I’d done towards my qualification. The second part was talking through my portfolio with an external assessor.
Have you noticed many changes in the business since you started?
There has been a lot of new machinery and investment at the site which is fantastic for my role as it allows me to better my understanding and experience with new equipment.
What does a typical shift now involve?
Each day can be really different depending on the type of print volume and work we are doing day by day. There is planned maintenance (TPM) to complete on at least one machine a day but breakdowns are always a priority which require you to think fast and apply a real mix of skills, which I like.
What do you enjoy most about your apprenticeship?
What I’m really enjoying now is the freedom that comes with a years’ experience. Shadowing less and doing more myself has allowed me to figure more stuff out for myself which I find really rewarding. I enjoy the people side of the business a lot and even though I’m an apprentice, I always get treated the same as highly-experience colleagues.
Are there other opportunities available during training or beyond?
I’m part of the ASI (Area Safety Inspection) team so I’m gaining increased safety experience to help with my development. At the minute I’m focused on completing my apprenticeship but I know that there will always be opportunities in the business to keep learning and developing and growing experience with new machines and new sites so there is lots of room for progression.
What would you say to someone considering an apprenticeship with Coveris?
Go for it. I really do enjoy coming to work at Coveris and have been treated well for the last year and a half by all levels of the business and really do feel part of the team!