Roxann Mendham, My Career

Since being at school I have always been interested in textiles but unfortunately my school did not offer textiles as a G.C.S.E. When I left school I wanted to be a machinist but when I started looking for a job opportunity there was only work for experienced machinists and unfortunately I did not have any experience.

I subsequently completed an apprenticeship in Business administration and went into office work instead. Although I enjoyed office work, after several years I fancied a change. When Whitemeadow advertised an apprenticeship to become a machinist with no previous experience needed I was thrilled at the opportunity! I realised how this opportunity would help me acquire a sought-after skill.

I was very pleased when I got accepted. The apprenticeship itself taught me all the sewing skills I needed to be able to be a successful machinist; as well as learning all about the upholstery trade through the coursework. The course work was interesting and taught me lots of information about the upholstery trade, sewing techniques, fabrics, health and safety and much more.

After a year of training, I successfully qualified with a Distinction. I am now a qualified machinist and I was really proud to have been awarded Apprentice of the Year 2020. After learning to sew to a high quality after practise comes speed too. Once I became competent the wage is rewarding. It is piece rate which is the first time in my work history where I can see exactly what I am earning every day.

To anyone leaving school and interested in sewing, completing this apprenticeship is such an amazing opportunity to learn a skill valued in trade with the potential of a brilliant salary.

Everything is learnt on the job, so you are earning as well as learning. If you are eager to do well you will flourish in this environment.