From Apprentice...

...to Print Finisher

Ben Pearson | Case Study

Ben PearsonBen Pearson has recently taken up a new position at H&H Reeds Printers as a fully qualified print finisher. A local boy, Ben’s story illustrates an exciting route to employment which is available to any keen, enthusiastic and farsighted youngster – the apprenticeship.

His appointment is an important step for him, and his employers are looking forward to the contribution he will undoubtedly make to the success of their business. Far from being the beginning of his role at the company, it is actually only the next step, for Ben has been with the firm since 2012, and the hurdle he had to face this month was not an interview, but the successful conclusion of his Level 3 Print Finishing NVQ.

Ben’s story is important because it points to alternative pathways to success for young people – ones which deliver skills and opportunities at the end, without the increasingly popular journey of higher education and a university course with only a degree and uncertainty at the end.

Ben could be typical of many his age. He didn’t want to go to university, so he came from a background in retail sales (a video store). It wasn’t long before he was looking for a change of direction with a more structured and satisfying future.

Phil Gowling, H&H Reeds Printers Works Manager, comments further: “Ben was taken on as a bindery apprentice and started working for H&H Reeds Printers in Penrith on 1st October 2012. He is from Penrith and had a very good academic record. He presented himself well at interview and was our first choice.

“After joining H&H Reeds he applied himself fully to his new role. He asked the right questions and more importantly, listened to the answers!  His ability to pick up new skills has been great and his attitude has been exemplary.”

Ben was enrolled on his NVQ in Print Finishing L3 in January 2013 and the feedback from his BPIF assessor was very positive throughout his 3 year course. His portfolio of work was produced to an excellent standard and he passed his NVQ with flying colours in January 2016.

Ben Johnstone, Ben’s BPIF Assessor, commenting said: “Ben was an excellent student, he consistently provided a very good standard of work which was well explained, and showed a great understanding of the NVQ from the beginning.  As a training provider we are inundated with both people leaving school looking for apprenticeships and employers who realise the benefit of an apprenticeship to their business.  The demand for apprenticeships is increasing year on year, and it is great to see successes such as Ben coming out of the system.”

Phil adds: “He has integrated well with the rest of the staff at H&H Reeds and has proved himself to be a valuable member of the print finishing team. His progress has been very rewarding to watch and has also encouraged us as a company to recruit more apprentices.”

Ben is equally enthusiastic about the path he took, and the outcome: “I absolutely loved the apprenticeship. It was a really great experience, especially after working part time previously.  It was a huge change for me, and taught me the value of money, time management and so on.  I found the whole process valuable and worthwhile.”

He remains a firm ambassador for the apprenticeship process. He adds: “If you are considering an apprenticeship – go for it! But it has to be right for the person, their own life and interests – if you are not interested in university, it’s another qualified route into the working life.”

“I was helped at school by my work experience in Year 9. I did mine at H&H Reeds Printers, and it was that which opened me to a job in this industry. “

He recommends looking carefully at the opportunities and different industries which offer apprenticeships. “When I looked at the printing industry I thought this was something different not plumbing, or being an electrician – it was something I could really see myself getting involved in.”

“I can only thank everyone who has helped me. I now have a good job, with a varied job role, which keeps its always interesting.”