A day in the life of Mandy Harper

The main aim of my role is to offer high quality on-the-job training which is essential for the manufacturing of quality domestic upholstered furniture. I am responsible for the development and performance of all the apprentices and the main point of contact for Webs Training Ltd. (outside educational provider).

My job as an Apprentice Programme Manager is to provide a flexible, systematic approach to training to facilitate high levels of achievement for all apprentices, ensuring all Company policies and Procedures are adhered to.  I enjoy all aspects of my job but most of all it is so fulfilling to see the apprentices achieve and excel in their work.

I arrive at work at 7.30 am and once I am in the Sewing School, I check on the apprentices and deal with any concerns.  I then answer any emails and messages and respond accordingly. I then log onto the payroll system and sort out the works tickets and payments, also checking that all apprentices have clocked in.

I will liaise with the Sewing Department at our Export site and order any cut work that is needed for the apprentices to sew. If any new models are sent, then I will print of the Sewing Specification which is my teaching tool and photocopy it, so every apprentice has their own copy. This can then be used individually as a working document to make notes when training in so they can become independent in their learning at later dates. Sometimes I will train certain sewing areas on my lockstitch machine in a group or separately at the apprentice’s own machine. I always encourage questions and make it a two-way learning experience. The models are distributed so all apprentices will learn a variety of designs and transfer their skills from one to another.

I thoroughly enjoy my role and it gives me great job satisfaction when I see the apprentices achieve something that has been quite challenging and frustrating for them, like a complex model or fabric that is difficult to sew and have overcome something that they thought was not possible.

Another aspect of my role is to ensure that quality standards are understood and met throughout the sewing process to eliminate finish product rejects. All apprentices are made aware of the importance of this procedure and teach them to have pride in their work.