Insights Ryan’s Apprenticeship Helps put Gloss on Belfast Paint Firm
07 March 2019

Ryan’s Apprenticeship Helps put Gloss on Belfast Paint Firm

Trimite apprentice with manager

When Ryan Adams from Belfast took on a trainee job little did he know he would be influencing a company so soon into his career.

After taking several roles following his studies at college he wanted a job where he could ‘lay down roots’ and took on a position with Trimite Global Coating on Falcon Road, Belfast. The company soon partnered with Seetec to help Ryan’s growth and the 24-year-old is the first of Seetec’s apprentices to graduate through the government-backed ApprenticeshipNI programme after passing his Level 2 Warehouse and Storage course.

Ryan said: “I joined Trimite Global Coatings in 2017 as a trainee colour matcher and my job involved me organising a lot of paint in a warehouse environment which could be potentially dangerous.

“The course was excellent and gave a me a lot of confidence in my job. Ian Freeburn, who is an apprenticeship delivery coach for Seetec, was brilliant in providing the education I need while I was on the job.

“A large part of the course was practical, and he would come down to the factory to carry out my training. Even the written part of my course was done at the business and that meant as soon as I was done I could get back into work which was a benefit to my bosses.”

Ryan said having the opportunity to learn in a practical environment helped him gain better knowledge of his profession. He added: “By working on-site it meant I could apply my learning to Trimite which is better than me being in a classroom and coming back to the factory and trying to remember what was said in the lesson.

“I can’t encourage people enough to look at apprenticeships. Being in university is fine when it comes to academic subjects but when it’s a practical subject you can’t beat the hands-on learning that an apprenticeship offers. I’m already preparing myself for the next level of the course.”

Steve McConnell, who is the General Manager at Trimite and has worked with the company for 27 years, said it was first time his company had introduced apprenticeships into their business plan.

He said: “Ryan is our first ever apprentice and I have to admit I should have brought apprentices into Trimite a long time ago. Like many businesses we were very good at dealing with the ‘here and now’ but when people are off sick or not able to come to work you’re left asking ‘how do you cover that loss?’

I got talking to Ian (Freeburn) and we discovered that Ryan was the perfect candidate to study the Level 2 Warehouse and Storage course. He’s done very well to pass this course and it’s great that he’ll be looking to go on to do Level 3.”

Steve said Ryan’s studies were able to formalise a lot of understanding about the job that often comes ‘word of mouth’. As a result, it has meant his business can now align their operations with global processes.

He explained: “With an industry like ours there’s a lot of what’s called ‘tribal knowledge’ it’s an understanding of a job but not formalised. Ryan’s course has meant he knows that formal process so what it has done is raise everyone’s standards here which is essential for a company like ours that deal with clients globally. People need to see the exact product they’re getting and exactly where it’s from and Ryan now has deep knowledge of that process.”

Steve also encouraged more businesses in Northern Ireland to bring apprenticeships into their work plan. He added: “I was very impressed with Seetec. They came to do their training on site here which meant we weren’t losing a member of staff to the class room. My advice to other employers is if you don’t have a formal process in place it is hard to get people to come into your business and to progress. This is what forward-thinking businesses are doing and if they wish to do business globally these formalities have part of the work process.”

Ian Freeburn, apprenticeship delivery coach with Seetec, said: “We congratulate Ryan on being the first Seetec apprentice to graduate through the Apprenticeships NI programme. He has worked incredibly hard and we’ve no doubts he will be the first of many to progress with our expert training. Credit must also go to his employers Trimite who had the vision to see the long-term benefits of having an apprentice on-board. I would encourage any employers looking to bring apprenticeships into their company to have a chat with us to explore the potential. Apprenticeships add great value to any business and Ryan’s impact at Trimite is a perfect example of this.”

For more information on apprenticeships in Northern Ireland contact 028 9030 3998.

Picture caption: (Left to Right) General manager at Trimite Global Coatings Steve McConnell, congratulates trainee Ryan Adams on becoming the first Seetec apprentice to pass through the ApprenticeshipsNI programme.