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Step inside the world of our apprentice print technician, Oisin Foot

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Oisin Foot recently shared his experience, as a CDS print technician apprentice, with the British Printing Industries Federation (BPIF).

What stage are you at in your apprenticeship journey?

I am about 2/3 of the way through my apprenticeship course.

What made you decide to undertake an apprenticeship? How did you come to work in print?

I had been spending a lot of time unsuccessfully applying to various jobs, and the apprenticeship allowed me to gain new skills and earn a qualification. I didn’t have any connection to print, but the nature of print work suited me better than my previous jobs in retail.

Oisin Foot, CDS print technician apprentice.

Tell us about a typical day at work for you.

A typical workday consists of completing the work already out before continuing with the work that arrives from the print room during the day –the highest priority being any work due the next day. In the afternoon the finished work is dispatched via Parcelforce, FedEx, or by post.

Tell us about some of the key knowledge, skills, and behaviours you have developed since starting your apprenticeship.

I have learnt how to use several machines, ranging from cutting on the guillotines to folding, hole punching, drilling, perfect binding and wiring. I can consider and mitigate potential problems that could arise (for instance, refilling the glue pot in the perfect binder before it gets too low). I also have a lot more confidence in my abilities and feel that I would be able to talk about them in an interview, even if it was with someone outside of the printing industry.

What’s the most enjoyable part of your apprenticeship?

The most enjoyable part is watching myself improve relative to what I used to be able to do.

What do you see yourself doing on achievement of your apprenticeship?

I see myself continuing in my current role as a fully qualified print finisher.

Would you recommend apprenticeships in the print industry to others, and what would you tell them about the industry?

If someone were in a similar position to me, I would recommend it; in this industry, you can never have too many people. A few of the printing terminologies do take some getting used to, and it will take a lot of practice on the machines before you can work as efficiently as your colleagues.

What do you think are the benefits of undertaking an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are useful for acquiring skills and knowledge that you wouldn’t find in academic disciplines, as well as presenting an opportunity for those struggling to find work to ‘get their foot in the door’, employment-wise.

If you're interested in taking the apprenticeship route, take a look at our apprenticeship roles and hear from our other apprentices here.