We met with 18-year-old Cameron Carey, at nettl, a web, design and print studio based in Melksham. Cameron joined the nettl team in October 2018 as a Design Apprentice.

Can you tell us what you did before becoming an apprentice?

I went to Devizes School choosing Religious Studies, Business Studies and Psychology at A-Level. I thought sixth form was my only option, however I wasn’t enjoying the subjects and began to consider where my subject choices could take me.

I wanted to get into Graphic Design, not a subject on offer at A Level but one I could pursue via an apprenticeship. During the summer, I started to look at apprenticeship options using the Indeed recruitment app on my phone, following advice from my Mum. My Dad was keen for me to do an apprenticeship as it would give me practical experience and therefore more employment offers in the future.

Can you tell us about your journey so far regarding apprenticeships?

I applied for a couple of apprenticeships and was invited for an interview at nettl. I had the minimum English, Math and ICT requirements for the role, the job description stated that some Graphic Design knowledge or experience was preferable but not essential.

My intermediate apprenticeship is delivered in partnership with Educ8 and on completion I will be awarded a Retail qualification. My apprenticeship is fixed term for one year, which does allow me to explore other options or remain within the nettl group if a vacancy becomes available.

My training Provider, Educ8, sets me different assignments and tasks in relation to the retail aspects of the job and meet with me at least once a month. My employer has been developing my knowledge of graphic design and the various software we use.

I didn’t know how much work would be involved and the range of tasks involved. I miss the long school holidays but enjoy the new independence I have gained through my apprenticeship. I had a Sunday job at a local clay pigeon shooting club which gave me a little bit of income, getting paid a regular wage whilst learning a job is a great benefit and not something I’d get if I stayed on at sixth form.

Can you tell us about your day to day role?

My role covers two areas, retail and graphic design. Having a store in a busy high street means that we have a variety of customers some can be walk-ins for things like photocopying alongside businesses requiring products such as new pricelists and menus. I also support customers on the phone and via our website.

During my first week in the job my employer was hosting the Melksham Business Expo, I helped with setting up and directing visitors at the event. I knew very little about the company or role at the time but it was good to learn about potential customers and engaging with the public to ensure future sales.”

What would you say to others considering an apprenticeship?

I thought sixth form was my only option, however starting an apprenticeship has been a good decision for me in terms of work skills and my future options.

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