How do I go about becoming a sign writer?
We get asked this a lot. In fact there is no specific apprentice training for this post. A couple of the installation companies and the Association of British Sign Writers does a lot to promote training and apprenticeship positions but the truth is that many people end up at college or university learning design and then the rest 'on the job'. In reality, design can be learned either online or on the job. And if working in an agency, most designers have to tow the corporate style or go freelance.
We have been lucky to get Government funding for our first apprentice, so please meet Nick!
Nick attends Highbury College in Portsmouth once a week on a Business Administration HNC - this is the learning part of his course. Highbury College run the course continuously so students can enrol throughout the year. They start when the next module starts and keep attending until they have completed them all.
He is also doing an NVQ level 4. This he does in his own time and uses evidence and learning from the workplace. His tutor from Highbury comes out to assess him and so far it is really working well.
As an employer, we are learning so much through Nick. All the modern software systems, lots of new policy implementation at the moment as well as re-evaluating things we have done for years. He is already suggesting new niches we might adopt and we have adopted a few new working practices too.
For Nick, it means he has no educational debt but he will have an educational qualification valid in any type of business (not just limited to the sign industry) as well as proven hands on experience in the sign industry. Business Administration can be taken to degree level standard.