Business and Printing Apprenticeships at Bakers
Bakers has recently acquired three brand new shiny apprentices: Connor O’Driscoll, Beth Elliot and Charlie Vickers. Working alongside BPIF they each will be gaining a different qualification while working at Bakers. Printing apprenticeships are a great way of encouraging the younger generation to join a rapidly evolving industry, so we look forward to seeing their progression within the company.
The apprenticeships will involve roughly 80% working within their role and 20% training. So while gaining valuable hands-on experience at Bakers, they will also be putting in 650 hours of training over the 2–3-year period.
Over the past year Bakers has put a real emphasis on the importance of training with the start of Bakers Academy. With the recruitment of these eager-to-learn apprentices, we can’t wait to see what they can gain from us. Bakers has previously had printing apprentices achieve excellent results with us so we’re sure Connor, Beth and Charlie will be no different.
Beth Elliot – Office Apprentice
(Business Administrator – Level 3)
Beth decided to start an apprenticeship as she didn’t think the university life was for her. She would rather keep busy at work than attend lectures and seminars. ‘I learn better and faster through hands on experience.’ She also wasn’t sure what course she’d pick, so thought an apprenticeship in business administration would be better as she could learn a range of things.
Beth was initially attracted to Bakers as she lived locally and after investigating further, she thought it ‘seemed a friendly but hardworking group of employees. The atmosphere is relaxed, and everyone is down to earth. I like that the relationship with customers is formal but friendly. They’re not just numbers.’
This was a completely new experience for Beth as she didn’t have any similar previous work experience. When asked what she found most interesting during her time at Bakers she said, ‘Getting to learn what goes into producing labels. It’s interesting how most people wouldn’t know how much goes on in the background.’ She also said the thing that she has surprisingly enjoyed was filing. ‘Most people would think that scanning and filing are boring, but I actually quite enjoy doing it!’
Aside from gaining her qualification, Beth hopes to ‘become a better version of myself. I want to be more talkative and be more at ease with strangers and acquaintances. I hope to gain enough skills that Bakers will keep me on after.’
What would you say to someone who was considering doing an apprenticeship at Bakers?
‘I would recommend it to others. It’s good because you get a lot of help, you’re not just left on your own with the work.’
Connor O’Driscoll – Planning Apprentice
(Print Operative – Level 2)
Bakers was recommended to Connor by a teacher at his school and after looking at the website he thought it looked ‘like a really good place to work’. Connor’s two older brothers had completed apprenticeships previously and stayed on with those companies for 10+ years. ‘It sounded like the best route to go. Earning while you’re learning just seemed like a better deal than loads of student debt.’
Connor had no previous printing experience. ‘I didn’t know anything about printing. Before I only knew about the printers you have at home so I was quite amazed when I started here to see how much is involved.’ When asked what he found the most interesting since starting at Bakers he said, ‘Seeing the amount of different printers there are. We’ve got Indigos, Inkjet, Flexo. There’s such a range of different ways you can print. It’s really interesting to see how much there is.’
Connor believes one of the qualities needed to do his role is confidence, ‘If you don’t have confidence you’re not going to succeed.’ Another key skill is ‘Attention to detail, especially in planning. If you make a mistake you’ve got to spot it, or it could all go wrong in the factory and it’d be your fault.’
Once he has completed his printing apprenticeship Connor hopes to stay on at Bakers and start his career in planning.
‘I’d want to stay at Bakers. From what I’ve seen so far I really like it here.’
He would also recommend an apprenticeship at Bakers to anyone that is considering going into print.
Charlie Vickers – BakPac Apprentice
(Lean Manufacturing – Level 2)
Charlie decided that an apprenticeship was better suited for him after not enjoying studying at college. ‘I didn’t think I’d be able to pass in college as I was struggling with that way of learning. So, I decided I wanted to earn money while gaining work experience.’ He decided on Bakers as his dad had recently started at Bakers too. (Many of our employees have been recommended by friends and family. As a family business this is encouraged. It confirms to us what a great company we are to work for!)
Charlie too had zero experience in print and said he, ‘didn’t really know what to expect coming in’. After being with us for a few weeks he says the most interesting part of his printing apprenticeship is, ‘How in-depth some of the machines are and the experience you need to be able to run them. You have to learn so much and watch others for quite a while before you’re able to yourself.’ He also says the most important quality needed to do his role is, ‘perseverance as there’ll sometimes be lots of little things that you need to fix throughout a job.’
At the moment Charlie isn’t sure what he wants to do once he has completed his apprenticeship but hopes that his qualification and the workplace experience he gains will help him with whatever he decides.
When asked if he would recommend a printing apprenticeship at Bakers he said:
‘I would recommend it over college. You get a better structure, and you don’t have to do after-hours work like revision, which is what I didn’t like. Even though the working day is longer you can learn and work in those set hours and you can relax when you get home, which is better for me.’