Studied: Level 3 Signage Technician Apprenticeship Standard
Progression: Purchasing and Junior Project Manager at Xsign
Andy George’s Apprenticeship journey with Xsign has seen him gain experience in a range of areas, including signage production and design.
Just three months into his Apprenticeship, he gained a position with the Northants-based company’s purchasing department. Eight months on, he was also liaising with clients about their wider service needs.
Having now completed his Level 3 qualification, he is considering higher level study through a Level 5 management qualification to help him progress further.
While Andy says he is fortunate to be part of an organisation providing wider career opportunities, he also believes in the importance of being open to new things and ‘putting the work in’.
“An Apprenticeship is only as good as you make it,” said Andy. “You do have to push yourself.
“While you might start out at the bottom, the jobs and responsibilities you are given will increase once you start proving yourself.
“It’s up to you to show what you can do and then there’s no reason why you can’t progress.”
Andy’s current role includes some project work where he manages small projects from initial contact the whole way through, including site surveys, quotations, processing orders and seeing the project through until completion, this is alongside his purchasing and estimating work.
Andy started out in signmaking when the Covid pandemic impacted on his career as a self-employed personal trainer. Having previously worked as a motorsport technician, he was keen to do something aligned to the sector that involved ‘hands on’ work.
He began his Apprenticeship by building and prepping signage, completing his off the job training through Microsoft Teams sessions and meeting his vocational coach on-site.
“I preferred being in the workplace and completing the study side of the qualification remotely as it meant I could manage my time in my own way,” said Andy. “The workload can seem intensive on top of a full-time job, but it is do-able if you make the effort and ask for help when you need it.
“Matthew, the head of production at Xsign has fully supported me during work and with my training. He’s been happy to answer any questions put to him and given me plenty of advice.”
Andy continued: “My vocational coaches at Walsall College have been brilliant too. They’re willing to go the extra mile in terms of answering messages out of hours. They are from the industry themselves, so there’s a vast amount of experience to tap into. And even though I’ve finished my qualification, I know they’re happy for me to contact them to bounce any new ideas off them.”
The Signage Technician Apprenticeship Standard is a 24-month apprenticeship for those working as technicians to design, manufacture, fabricate and install signage. Find out more here.