“Would I recommend training apprentices? Yes, definitely.”
Paul Harland, Managing Director of AMC Print Solutions, a nationwide managed print services business.
For AMC Print Solutions, taking on apprentices has been a staple of the company since it began. Opening its doors four years ago as an off-shoot of parent company and next-door neighbour AMC Computer Supplies, the business has found repeated benefit in giving young people the opportunity and training they need to start their careers.
“We’ve had four or five apprentices in the past. Within AMC Computer Supplies it always seems to have worked; bringing young people in and training them up to do the job. That’s why I decided to follow in their footsteps and roll out the same for us.”
As a small business that prides itself on its service, bringing in people who are willing to learn is important to AMC Print Solutions. Their current apprentice, taking his Customer Service Level 2 course, is 17-year-old Ethan Wood.
“When I came in for the interview I had to do research on the job role and get a bit of understanding on what I needed to know before I came in – although that was probably a bit less than what I needed to know,” Ethan explains.
“At first I just thought printers; you just buy inks for them. I didn’t know that side of the business, and then I realised that a lot of companies, probably more companies than less now, are on contracts.”
Like many apprentices, Ethan realised during sixth form that a traditional education wasn’t working for him. After looking through the GOV.UK website and finding the Training Provider Starting Off, he was soon finding new opportunities.
“I saw the one for AMC and the job title was Telesales. I was a bit nervous about being on the phones, but I didn’t have a clear understanding of how the business worked at that point in time.”
“When I came in I had three weeks of training before I even got on the phones, which settled me down and helped me realise that it’s not actually that scary. And once you start doing it yourself you get a lot more confident with it, and you can start taking different approaches.”
Investing Time for the Best Results
AMC’s commitment to internal training has helped Ethan with his phone manner and business knowledge, which has allowed him to feel more confident in his role. Yet besides this, the structure of his apprenticeship programme has helped him to feel like he’s progressing and learning as he goes.
“If I have a couple of problems in the morning where I don’t necessarily feel like I’ve done my job to the best of my ability, going over to Starting Off gives me a lot more help, because then I’ve got someone who I know that I can sit and talk to.”
“The education side of the apprenticeship is still benefitting me a lot.”
As Ethan progresses and becomes more embedded within the business, Paul is adamant that he would take on another apprentice in the future.
“Definitely. The way it’s worked before, I’d be silly not to. As long as you’ve got the time to train them up to do the right stuff then yes, it’s worthwhile.”
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