In part 3 of our series of MEET OUR APPRENTICES we introduce Alex Smith who started working for Pland Stainless last year within the Sales department. Alex is 17 years old and lives in Morley on the outskirts of Leeds, here he describes his apprenticeship experiences so far at Pland.

How did you join Pland: I joined Pland Stainless just a month after leaving the Morley Academy school, on the 17th July 2017. I chose an apprenticeship over going to college as I didn’t want this next stage to be like school, which I didn’t really enjoy to be honest. I felt a change was necessary. I came across Pland Stainless and their apprenticeship scheme at a careers fair held at the First Direct Arena, which I heard about from school and my Mum. Here many local companies were exhibiting to showcase their companies and I met with Dean Johnson and he explained what Pland Stainless was all about so I applied immediately. I didn’t get the initial technical apprenticeship role I applied for at Pland, but they did offer me this sales apprenticeship role and I’m now really pleased I accepted. I think I’m doing great at the moment.

Explain your role, what have you learnt so far at Pland: On a daily basis I am located in the sales department at their Leeds office and I produce quotations for customers. I also speak directly with customers requiring a price quotation over the phone. I have learnt a lot so far at Pland, one of the main things is how to deal with customers, some of them have a problem, perhaps with a product and I need to be able to explain what we can do about it, to help solve their problem. I’ve also had to learn about the Pland product range, which is vast, I never appreciated that companies make such a number of different products some standard and some to special sizes or customized designs.

Longer term what would you like to do: I honestly don’t have a long term plan, my aim at the moment is to complete my apprenticeship, learn as much as I can and see where things take me from there.

What do you enjoy the most in your job: I do enjoy coming to work each day, which is more than I could say about school. This apprenticeship scheme at Pland has given me a great opportunity to start a new path in my life. I have met lots of new people both in the office and on the shop floor and this has really helped increase my confidence in mixing with people of all age groups. I have learnt so much in the past 10 months, really interesting stuff that I’m sure will be really invaluable during my career.

Hobbies outside work: Watching football and rugby with my family and spending time with my best mate Ethan.