From education to employment

Apprenticeships offer way into industry

At secondary school Alex Sandford didn’t enjoy classroom based learning and knew that a study pathway that allowed him to be more hands-one would suit his career development more than further studies in an academic setting.

Alex said, “I always knew I wanted to do an apprenticeship, but I wasn’t sure what industry that would be in. An apprenticeship offered me a way of learning a skill, gaining a qualification and earning money at the same time.” 

As a student affected by the lockdown predicted grades, Alex opted to spend the time that he would have been sitting exams searching for apprenticeship opportunities and he came across a vacancy that caught his attention on the Government website.

Alex added, “I found an apprenticeship opportunity at Xaar that stood out to me, and I felt I could really do well in the role. I sent my CV to Cambridge Regional College, and they put me in touch with Xaar. I attended interview and was subsequently offered the position. I started my two-year apprenticeship in Logistics in March 2021, and I am studying Level 3 Business Administration alongside.”

“I am really enjoying my apprenticeship. I am faced with different problems every day and I never get bored. In a typical day I respond to emails and attend morning meetings to plan for the day ahead. I then clear the shipping and deal with customer clearances. My job is to ensure that our customers are receiving their goods and are happy with the shipment of print heads from Xaar.” 

I would definitely recommend the apprenticeship route. It provides lots of opportunity, gives you experience in the workplace and offers you a way into the industry. The people around me have been supportive and welcoming. I would like to stay with Xaar beyond my apprenticeship but if not, I can see myself staying in this industry. I have ambitions of working my way up in the company, and I would like to become a Logistics Manager at some point in the future.

Alex Sandford

Alex recently attended Cambridge Regional College with Xaar, exhibiting at the Huntingdon Careers Fair, where he offered relatable advice and guidance on apprenticeships to the next generation of students looking at their options. 

Alex concluded, “It was strange to be standing on the other side of the table, but it was nice to talk to people of a similar age that are taking their first steps into employment. Just a few years before I was just like them, attending careers fairs as a student looking for the next step in my journey.”

Find out more about Apprenticeships at Cambridge Regional College. If you are seeking an Engineering apprenticeship, Xaar are currently recruiting.

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