Holly Langstaff – MM Group
Name: Holly Langstaff
Apprenticeship programme: Level 3 – Print Technician
Employer: MM Group (formerly Essentra Packaging)
Training Coordinator: Anthony McRoberts
What stage are you at in your apprenticeship journey?
I have been on the apprenticeship programme since September 2020 and have recently opted to trigger the gateway for my end point assessment. I aim to have completed my course within the next two months.
What made you decide to undertake an apprenticeship? How did you come to work in print?
I looked at apprenticeships as an entryway to starting a career as I previously studied design. I saw an apprenticeship as a good way to gain experience and develop my skills in a working environment. I was initially interested in the role as I wanted to learn reprographics and some CAD.
Tell us about some of the key knowledge, skills, and behaviours you have developed since starting your apprenticeship.
I have learned how to use multiple programs and am now competent enough to use most without supervision. I also developed some of my graphic design skills through the courses provided by my employer.
Tell us about a typical day at work for you.
I am based primarily in reprographics, so I typically step cartons into layout files for our litho machines, book jobs into the department, upload artwork for preflight checks, collate GMG proofs for customer service and make notes in preparation for the end point assessment. On occasion I shadow operators, but I generally carry out these tasks.
What’s the most enjoyable part of your apprenticeship?
Working with colleagues and feeling like I have made progress in my abilities from the beginning of the course to now. I also enjoyed the Adobe courses which improved my efficiency in graphic software (Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop). Also, the advice and guidance I get from my training coordinator makes me feel more confident in my own abilities.
What do you see yourself doing on achievement of your apprenticeship?
I will be staying in the reprographic department as an operator upon completion of the apprenticeship.
Would you recommend apprenticeships in the print industry to others, and what would you tell them about the industry?
I would – there is a lot to learn and there are useful software skills to learn. I wouldn’t be able to comment on the whole print industry, but I have a broad understanding of the wider industry. I would be able to much better advise in a pre-press position.
What do you think are the benefits of undertaking an apprenticeship?
It is a good introduction into a new career as you are given enough time to learn and process new information. Gives real working experience and gives you more confidence in working with others and presenting your own work. Opportunity for specific training which is only available through an apprenticeship.