Q & A with… Clearmark workshop apprentice

10th March, 2017
ICE Workshop Apprentice
“My role within the business is system preparations, this involves the building of Vulcan Print and Apply labelling systems for small and large manufacturing businesses across the UK.” - Ryan Houlton

How many years have you worked at ICE?

“I have been an employee at ICE for just under two years.”

What did you do before your apprenticeship?

“Before starting my apprenticeship I was in full time education, studying for my A-Levels at the National Academy Sixth Form.”

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

“I always had a plan to have a career in engineering. This is something I have always had a passion for and have studied towards in order to achieve this.”

What do you do outside of work?

“Outside of work I enjoy going to the gym, working on my car and socialising with friends.”

Explain the interview process at Clearmark

“I applied for my apprenticeship online through the government website. The first step of the interview process was an over the phone interview, which was through the college (West Nottinghamshire College).”
“Following this, I had a formal interview Arron Rothwell, Operations Manager at Clearmark. During this interview I was able to get a better understanding of the business and what the role would involve.”
“This was also a good opportunity to show skills and qualities and to demonstrate why I would make a good addition to the Clearmark team. After my first interview I then received a phone call, where I was invited to a second interview, giving me an opportunity to meet Chris Simpson, Managing Technical Director at Clearmark.”

Day to day activities and responsibilities:

“Every day at Clearmark is different; activities can vary depending on the type of systems and projects that are being worked 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 on time at a high standard.”

Major projects and responsibilities:

“One of my major projects was helping to build an axis system for a multinational snack manufacturer. This type of bespoke system was the first of its kind, which allowed our Vulcan Print and Apply labeller to be rotated in different positions to suit the customers’ requirements.”

Notable achievements?

“Gaining lots of work-based experience and helping to build ten systems in one month.”
“I was involved in preparing for the PPMA Total Show, an annual processing and packaging exhibition held at the Birmingham NEC. During the show, I was involved in setting up all the machines and demonstration rigs. This was a great achievement as all the machines worked without fault and the show was seen to be a success.”

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 the appropriate theory knowledge 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.”

Job offer:

“At the end of my two-year apprenticeship, I was approached by Arron Rothwell with a full-time job offer. The follow-up email contained everything I needed to know about my new role and a full description of responsibilities.”

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 at a higher standard, as I am now more aware of how the technology works and operates.”

How has an apprentice programme helped you in your role?

“My apprenticeship programme has helped me to gain a better understanding of the engineering industry and has also allowed me to hit the ground running as a full-time employee.”

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

“Apprenticeships are a great route into work. The main benefits are that you can gain practical work-based experience, while studying and earning money.”
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“Apprenticeships are a great route into work. The main benefits are that you can gain practical work-based experience, while studying and earning money.” - Ryan Houlton, Workshop Apprentice

Interested in a career in engineering? Would you like to join us as an apprentice?

Visit our careers page or email humanresources@uk.interactivecoding.com for more information.