Oldham College student Jessica Philips is studying a Level 3 Design Apprenticeship at Character World, the UK’s leading supplier of licensed bedroom textiles. Jessica originally set out on the A level route but soon discovered that her creative flair with design and photography was better suited to an Apprenticeship.
The 19 year old is working as a Design Apprentice at the company’s head office based in Cheadle, where she’s involved in researching trends and creating artwork. Jess has even designed her very own bedding range based on the new Disney Princess character, ‘Sofia the First’.
Dave Marshal, HR Manager at Character World, says “Jess has helped us to create some very exciting new designs and is developing into a confident and inspiring designer. Apprentices learn so much so quickly. They challenge those around them to develop as well and to re-learn some of the skills that they may have forgotten. As a business, we are constantly learning and refining our skills so apprentices help us all to gain new energy and impetus”.
Amanda Walker, NVQ Manager at Oldham College, adds “Jess has developed a range of creative design skills through her qualification which have helped her to grow in confidence and produce some fantastic outcomes both in college and in the workplace.”
Jessica describes a day in the life of a Design Apprentice: “No two days are the same at Character World. I have a whole list of different jobs that I could be doing in a day which varies from photography, designing concepts, finding new trends, making mock ups and even going comp shopping. This is when you look at competitors and see what they are up to in areas such as market trends and pricing. We recently went on a comp shop to London to see what latest trends are out in the fashion & home markets. We went out in small groups and covered different areas of London. My group visited South Kensington & King Street, where we looked at the high end & midmarket trends. Once back at work, I pulled the research together to create boards to show our findings. These will be shown to licensors & throughout the business so people are aware of trends and price points.
Jessica says “The best thing about my apprenticeship has been learning a whole range of new skills and meeting lots of new people”.
Jess will complete her college qualification this year and has already been offered a place to join the company as a junior designer.
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