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February 5, 2024

Name: Joseph Wheatcroft

Apprenticeship programme: Level 3 Team Leader / Supervisor

Employer: Ripley Printers 

Training Coordinator: Jillian Fiata

What stage are you at in your apprenticeship journey?

I am at the seventh module, slightly over the halfway point through my apprenticeship.

What made you decide to undertake an apprenticeship? How did you come to work in print?

 I chose to enrol in this apprenticeship to help further and expand my skills and knowledge in my role as a supervisor and provide the best support and guidance to my team that I can.

Tell us about some of the key knowledge, skills, and behaviours you have developed since starting your apprenticeship.

Since starting the apprenticeship I’ve learnt to structure and give better feedback using the feedback models we learnt about in the performance management workshop and workbook as well as setting better SMART targets for my team

Tell us about a typical day at work for you.

A typical working day for me can be quite varied due to the fact that I have a lot of roles and processes that I do. Some of these are:

  • Planning out job lists for my team members.
  • Actively working in production where my team require support and cover.
  • Giving guidance and training to my team members on jobs or processes they are less experienced on or need a bit more support on.
  • Keeping track of what stage jobs are at to ensure they are going to be ready on time and communicating with the office to keep them updated on this.
  • Setting up more specialised machines in the factory such as the hot melt binder and the three knife trimmer.
  • Giving focus sheets and targets to my team to help keep them progressing.
  • Having both regular informal weekly meetings as well as monthly 1-2-1 meetings with my team members to make sure that they are happy and on track with their goals and targets and find out areas they may need support in.
  • Filming and preparing training videos and resources to help make our training systems easier and more comprehensive.
  • Making sure that we have enough supplies in stock and ordering them if needed.
  • Doing some of the regular maintenance on finishing equipment and machines to make sure they are working correctly.
  • Planning and working on my own personal projects to help improve the workplace

What’s the most enjoyable part of your apprenticeship?

Seeing where I can implement some of the things that I am learning and then seeing the positive impact this has once its been implemented.

What do you see yourself doing on achievement of your apprenticeship?

 After completing the apprenticeship I hope to move onto one of the higher level ones, to help guide and support me as I grow into a more senior managerial role

Would you recommend apprenticeships in the print industry to others, and what would you tell them about the industry?

 I would recommend an apprenticeship in print as I have found both the one I started out on as a teen as well as the one I am currently doing to be supportive in my development and help me grow and expand my skillset and abilities.

What do you think are the benefits of undertaking an apprenticeship?

I think a benefit of undertaking an apprenticeship is that it allows you to learn theory skills and knowledge alongside practical ones and put them into use in an actual working environment.


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