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Photo of Saffron with two dog visitors to the office

Saffron’s apprenticeship journey at Visual Print and Design

16 October 2023

Those of you who have placed an order with us over the last year or so will no doubt know Saffron.

Saffron is our Customer Service Assistant Apprentice and, by displaying excellent customer service and technical printing skills, not to mention an infectious sense of humour and fun, she’s become a vital member of the team.

As she nears the end of her apprenticeship, we sat down with Saffron to reflect on her time with Visual Print and Design so far.

What were you doing before the apprenticeship?

Before I joined Visual Print and Design, I had just finished my diploma in engineering at sixth form. Doing the course made me realise that engineering wasn’t quite right for me.

I’ve never really known what I wanted to do but a few years ago I did a week of work experience here and it really piqued my interest. My sister used to work here as well and she let me know about the apprenticeship vacancy and encouraged me to apply. It sounded up my street, so I thought ‘why not’?

I applied and had an interview and somehow they chose me! I started in June 2022 and I’m due to finish my apprenticeship either at the end of this year or at the start of next year.

Tell us about how you’ll complete your apprenticeship

I’m moving on to my end point assessment now which is very nerve wracking! It’s split into three different segments – a project, a knowledge section and a presentation in front of a small panel of judges about my project.

For my project I had to do something that would benefit and provide a long lasting difference to the company. I chose to reorganise our archival filing system – as it was a bit of a mess!

The knowledge section encompasses a lot of the work I’ve been doing throughout the apprenticeship. I’ve done deep dive assignments on all aspects of business administration including GDPR, health and safety, risk assessments, Gantt charts, stakeholders. It was very informative, you find out a lot about a business that you never thought you’d know.

If all goes well I will get a pass and that will be my apprenticeship finished!

How have you found the apprenticeship?

I have absolutely loved it! To start off with, I wasn’t a big fan of apprenticeships, as I have never had much fun learning. But the apprenticeship with Visual Print and Design has completely changed my view around it.

Everyone here has been so welcoming, they’ve helped me whenever I’ve needed it and they’ve always been available for support. I couldn’t have asked for anything better!

How have you progressed during your time here?

I have 100% progressed. I came into the company not knowing anything about the printing world or anything about business management.

Where I am now is something I would have never imagined. I have my own clients and I’m responsible for deliveries and lots of other jobs that I’d never thought I’d be able to do. So I feel very chuffed with myself.

What do you enjoy most about the role?

I enjoy going down to production and doing some manual work down there because it gets me more involved in how orders are made and the processing behind everything. It does bring in a bit of the engineering knowledge in making everything work, so I’ve still got a little inkling of it.

Working with my clients is another thing I really enjoy. Pulling jobs out of the bag and getting things to clients on tight deadlines then hearing good feedback from them after is just amazing.

What are your plans for the future?

After the apprenticeship I hope to stay with Visual Print and Design. I can’t see myself going anywhere else. They’ve taken me in and made me part of the team so I’d love to stay.

Are there any funny stories you can tell us?

I have a reputation for mispronouncing names and some have become running jokes.

We also have a game where whenever me or Scott leave something lying around in the office we hide it. Scott’s favourite is to lift up a ceiling tile to hide things up there. We’ve also changed each other’s desktops to silly photos of us, so we have a good laugh.

The team never fails to make me smile. I can walk in with a bad mood sometimes but they always make me giggle and lift me up.

What the bosses say

“Saffron has improved relationships not only with clients but with our suppliers too by offering more updates. She’s moved on to quoting and offers customer support both during and after orders. We’ve had some really great feedback from clients singing Saffron’s praises and saying she’s fantastic.

“Saffron has shown massive dedication to the apprenticeship, the job and the industry. She came into a role that she didn’t really know a great deal about but she’s made it her own and she’s absolutely thriving. The sky’s the limit for Saffron.” – Scott Jones, Head of Operations at Visual Print and Design.

“Saffron has done exceptionally well throughout her apprenticeship here at Visual Print and Design. She’s a really positive personality and has slotted into the team seamlessly. The work she’s done with clients has been fantastic, and the way she’s thrown herself into the technical side of things has been very impressive too.” – Graham Hunstone, Managing Director at Visual Print and Design.

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