Often when students leave school or college they are unsure what to do or which direction to head in their life. Starting a career in a Print apprenticeship isn’t usually something that comes to mind. However, the printing industry is one of the most established and experienced industry to start a career in. Simpson Group has a range of apprenticeships available to kick-start a career with a print apprenticeship. If you are unsure about applying, then read our Estimator, Kyle’s journey at Simpson Group. Kyle started his journey at Simpson Group 4 years ago. He completed his apprenticeship last year becoming one of Simpson Group’s estimators. He has since then helped estimate leading brands and companies' point of sale print across the country. Thomas: Why did you choose an apprenticeship and not College/ University? Kyle: I tried a year at college studying Engineering as this was the route I wanted to go down when I left school. I completed a year at college and received my qualification, after that I was employed by Simpson Group as an Estimating Apprentice. The reason I wanted an apprenticeship was because I wanted to learn a trade whilst studying in a working environment rather than the classroom environment. I knew a few people who were doing apprenticeships at the time and they said that it was a much more productive setting that allowed me to experience what work was really like. I didn’t aim at getting an apprenticeship within the print industry however I knew that I wanted to be within a trade so when the estimating apprenticeship job was advertised I applied straight away. Thomas: Tell me about your role, what does it involve on a daily basis? Kyle: On a daily basis we work through a range of enquiries which are sent in to the team from the Account Management/Sales team. The account managers provide us with a full print specification which allows us to create a full quote. All of the enquires are added to our Estimating list which is kept up to date as the enquiries are sent in throughout the day. The estimating list includes all of the live enquiries which require pricing and are placed in priority order. I usually sort this into order of client/importance of job etc. The enquiries range from 1 off items to massive 200+ item promotions so the role is always changing, and you are never stuck doing the same thing. My favourite enquiries are the ones with a large number of items which require planning up across different sets. I like this as it gives me a challenge to see how competitive I can get my prices. A good set of units are the 3D enquires, these are quite challenging as you need to take into account a number of different factors such as finishing time, how this will be printed, how this will be glued etc. It’s an accomplished feeling that you get when you see the job going through and being printed. Thomas: How have you found your apprenticeship at Simpson Group? Kyle: I have loved my apprenticeship at Simpson Group. When applying for the job I didn’t really know what estimating was or what the printing industry was really, but I love the challenges that the role brings. When I first started I spent a period of time in each different department. This was a great way of learning about how print works. The life skills which I have learnt during the 3-year apprenticeship at Simpson Group will help me throughout all of my life. Thomas: Whilst completing your apprenticeship, what was your highlight? Kyle: The highlight of my time within Simpson Group has been passing my Level 3 BTEC Print Administration apprenticeship. Another highlight has been making my way through the roles of Estimating to eventually get to the highest I can be within this role. Thomas: How has your role changed since completing your apprenticeship? Kyle: My role has changed massively since starting at Simpson Group. I originally started as an apprentice Estimator. I then went onto being a normal Estimator and now a qualified Estimator. I am learning how to process jobs for the system and have done a small amount of account management. My progression throughout the Estimating department has led to me pricing up all of the main tenders which come into the company which is challenging as we have to come to the best solution to price up the tenders the most competitive way. You can find out more about our most recent apprenticeship here.