This week is National Apprenticeship Week, the annual celebration which brings this community together to celebrate the impact of apprenticeships on individuals, employers and the economy. We spoke to Felix Page who is coming to the end of his apprenticeship at Haymarket and the start of his full-time contracted position as a reporter on Car & Accessory Trader (CAT) magazine.
What was it that made you want to work in the publishing industry?
Writing was always something I liked doing. I did English and languages at school and English Literature at Birmingham University. I got involved in the university newspaper and I had a radio show so I have always been attracted to the idea of working in the media. This role then came up when I was considering what I wanted to do after university. I had never considered an apprenticeship before, but it was an opportunity to write about cars and it was channelling everything I had learnt in education into something I quite liked talking about.
Explain how your apprenticeship programme has worked at Haymarket.
For me it was 2 months of settling in at Haymarket and learning the ropes and then I started my college course at the Press Association which is run through the NCTJ. There was a period when the course was full time then it went down to one day a week and I was back at work full time. I finished my last exam in October and now I am just working on a coursework portfolio which I hand in in 3 weeks. I applied more for the job role than the apprenticeship at the time, although I now consider it extremely valuable and I am very glad I am doing it.
Why has it been valuable to start out as an apprentice before going into a full-time contracted role at Haymarket?
It is especially important because I am learning something I didn’t have experience in before. If I didn’t do the apprenticeship I wouldn’t have an understanding about the industry in general as the training course teaches me about court reporting, magazine production and media law. While they are elements of my everyday job at Haymarket, I wouldn’t have been able to get such a good understanding if I hadn’t done the NCTJ course. Doing this has allowed me to get that training while also making a name for myself in the industry.
What has been the highlight of your apprenticeship so far?
Most recently, I was named a rising star at the Haymarket internal awards. I also went to the Goodwood Festival of Speed and I was there for three days, on the ground reporting. I also still get excited when I see my name in print or on a big piece online. Last month I did a big feature about a garage near the Grenfell tower and it was the cover feature of Car & Accessory Trader and it was picked up by Autocar. That feels like a good point to end the apprenticeship on.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced during your apprenticeship?
Coming at it as a complete newbie. I had never worked in a professional role so it was a real change of pace from working in a pub.
What is your plan when the apprenticeship finishes?
I finish at the beginning of April and last August, I was successful in my application for a new permanent role, which means I can stay on past April, my salary will go up and I will be a contracted employee of Haymarket.
What would be in your Room 101?
What magazine would be your long train journey read?
Car & Accessory Trader and VolksWorld.