Apprentices at Encore: Investing In The Future

Encore apprentice at work

Apprentices at Encore: Investing In The Future

Developing and training young people within our local communities has been an integral aspect of the business for over 30 years. Each year we recruit new apprentices, offering them the opportunity to kickstart their careers by gaining hands-on experience of Encore’s specialist processes.

As the largest privately-owned UK envelope manufacturer and a packaging provider for major retail stores, healthcare companies and luxury brands across the country, there has been a consistent need to upskill and train aspiring individuals in order to meet the growing industry demand for our bespoke products.

Through our fruitful partnership with local education and training providers such as East Durham College and TDR Training & Trust, we have hired 18 apprentices in the last four years.

We endeavour to give each individual apprentice a holistic understanding of our business at the very beginning of their training. During the first four weeks, our apprentices work in each of our departments, gaining an insight into every specialist process from design and engineering to plate making and ink formulation.

One of the significant advantages for individuals opting for an apprenticeship at Encore is the specialist, in-depth knowledge that is gained of our extremely specific processes and equipment. Rather than simply achieving a recognised engineering or manufacturing qualification, our apprentices are armed with the skills and experience to excel within our industry.

Due to this in-depth understanding of our processes, many of our valued apprentices secure a job with us after completing their training. Out of the last 12 apprentices we hired as of the end of 2022, 11 are still with the business.

Furthermore, many of our senior staff began their careers at Encore as trainees, and this is reflected in our impressive number of long-service employees; out of the 282 members of staff currently employed at Encore, 112 employees have been at the business for over 10 years.

Pictured left to right: Encore success stories, Barry Ferguson, Kate Blacknell, Dom Forster and Alex Langston

Our success stories

From apprentices to experienced staff, we are committed to nurturing the development of each individual employee at Encore. We have taken this opportunity to shine the spotlight on a few of our valued staff across multiple departments who have progressed in their roles.

Barry Ferguson – Maintenance Manager

Barry Ferguson joined the Encore team in 1998 as a trainee. When asked to reflect on his experience, Barry replied:

“My time as a trainee was very positive. I learned new tasks every day and picked up knowledge from the engineers around me. My managers always made sure that I was happy and that my training was on track. The team at Encore have been great at supporting me throughout my various roles over the years.”

Barry is now Maintenance Manager and is responsible for creating maintenance schedules and delegating tasks and shift work as well as overseeing reactive maintenance and managing stock lists.

Kate Blacknell – Senior Account Manager

Kate Blacknell joined the Encore team in 2014, initially as a Pre-Production Administrator trainee. Kate’s excellent organisational and communication skills quickly came to be indispensable to the smooth running of Encore Packaging and as a result, Kate was promoted to Account Manager in 2017, and quickly graduated to her Senior Account Manager role shortly after.

When asked about her experience and career progression, Kate responded:

“When I first started at Encore, I was quickly given the opportunity to interact with clients and gained an in-depth knowledge of each client’s orders which was extremely valuable. I really enjoyed the customer care element of my job. The team at Encore were supportive and recognised my strengths. I find my current role incredibly rewarding and love seeing a project through from inception to completion.”

Dom Forster – Operations Manager

Dom Forster has been a long-serving member of the Encore team and recently achieved his 20-year service award. After leaving school, Dominic was employed as a Trainee Adjuster on the envelope manufacturing machines. Now, Dominic has managerial responsibilities across all three manufacturing plants in Washington, Peterlee and Dewsbury.

“I was not suited to classroom learning – I left school at 16 and tried my hand at a couple of different jobs before securing the position as Trainee Adjuster,” said Dom. “Now, as a 37-year-old Operations Manager, I look back and I am grateful for the opportunities that Encore has given me and I have worked hard to get to where I am today.”

Dominic is now responsible for ensuring that manufacturing lines are operating at optimal levels in order to produce nearly 60 million envelopes per week. He manages projects to guarantee customer specifications are delivered efficiently, accurately and on time.

Alex Langston – Envelope Adjuster

Alex Langston started his EAL Awards Level 2 Diploma in Manufacturing at East Durham College in February 2021. After 15 months of training at our Washington site, he successfully achieved his manufacturing qualification.

Now fully qualified and armed with in-depth knowledge of envelope manufacturing machines, Alex has secured a role at Encore as Envelope Adjuster. Alex is now responsible for the setting and running of a W&D 341 envelope production machine. Working on a continental shift system, Alex ensures that our customer specifications and deadlines are met. 

Interested in an apprenticeship at Encore?

We pride ourselves on our staff retention and we want every valued member of our team to stay with Encore throughout their professional life.

We are committed to helping apprentices take the next steps in their careers, providing first-class training and helping them gain an acute understanding of the business and industry.

If you are interested in a career in envelopes and packaging and would like to earn while you learn, we could have an apprenticeship opportunity for you.

We recruit new apprentices every year. Contact us today to find out more.

1391 783 The Encore Group
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