Q & A with… a Clearmark Workshop Engineer

Training, engineering, apprenticeship, jobs, careers, progression

“I work on the Vulcan Print and Apply Labelling Machine, which involves building bespoke systems for our wide range of customers.”

How many years have you worked at Clearmark?

“I have been an employee at Clearmark for just over seven years.”

What did you do before your apprenticeship?

“I started off working in the warehouse for four years until I got the opportunity to work in the repairs department, which I did for two years. During this time I started a college course, as I looked to build upon the skills I had already learnt in the repairs department. Through my studies I realised that it would be beneficial to get some experience in the workshop, to put into practise what I had learnt at college. After impressing in the workshop, and taking advice from my manager and college tutor, I was asked if I would like to move into the workshop full time, which I did in August 2018.”

What career plan did you have prior to undertaking the apprenticeship at Clearmark?

“I never really had a career plan as such. Before working at Clearmark I was working on lighting and audio at Television Workshop and other theatres. I was also at Confetti College doing sound production, so I always thought I would end up doing something within that industry. But as I found myself progressing at Clearmark I found that I really enjoyed the work.”

What do you do outside of work?

“Outside of work I enjoy socialising, music, and gaming. I’m also in a metal band that gigs regularly.”

How was the interview process at Clearmark?

“I had one interview with the Warehouse Manager Sam Cooke and the Operations Manager at the time. From the interview I could see that Clearmark would be a nice environment to work in. I also got a better understanding of what the company did. I think later that day I received a phone call offering me the job.”

Day-to-day activities and responsibilities:

“Every day is different; activities can vary depending on the type of systems and projects that we are working on. My role mainly involves mechanical and electrical work, from building wiring control panels to re-wiring existing components so that they are compatible with our systems. The most important part of my role is to ensure that systems are completed safely, on time, and built to the high Clearmark standard.”

Major projects and responsibilities:

“One of the first projects I was thrown into was a job for a large, local cheese manufacturer. I think this was the largest project Clearmark has ever had and as a company everyone had to work hard to make sure the systems worked perfectly and was delivered to the customer on time. This project involved eight large conveyor systems with Vulcan printers. Due to the amount of work that was required, and the short timeframe to build the systems, this was a challenging but interesting project, in which I gained a lot of experience.”

Notable achievements?

“Starting to independently build conveyor systems.

Getting distinctions at college.”

What sort of apprenticeship programme were you on?

“I was on an advanced level apprenticeship studying electrical engineering at Level 3 (Full Diploma).”

How is it structured?

“During the apprenticeship programme, I attended college one day a week to gain knowledge of the theory to support my work-based learning. I also had a college assessor visit me monthly to work on my National Vocational Qualification (NVQ), an additional work based qualification.”

What training have you been offered and how has this helped you in your role?

“I have been offered full product training, this has helped me to build systems to a higher standard, as I am now more aware of how the technology works and operates. Also as I worked in the repairs department I already had a good understanding of the products we sell. We also get other training that everyone in the company gets offered like extended Excel training. I have gained experience and qualifications that are transferable to other jobs and departments.”

How has an apprentice programme helped you in your role?

“My apprenticeship programme has helped me gain a better understanding of the engineering industry and has made the full-time switch to the workshop easier. I have also gained experience and qualifications that are transferable to other jobs and departments.”

How do you think apprenticeships compare with other routes into work?

“It’s hard for me to say as I was already an employee. But I can see how as an apprentice you can gain experience and an education whilst earning money. It also gives you a good understanding of the industry and an opportunity to speak to and get advice from others that are working towards a similar goal.”

If you’re interested in a career in engineering and would like to join us as an apprentice, sign up for job alerts on our careers page or email humanresources@uk.interactivecoding.com for more information.

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