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Billy, 23, from Ashington, Northumberland joined Coveris in Cramlington as a multi-skilled packer in late 2021. Although he’s only been with the company for a short time, Billy has recently been offered a promotion and is currently training to become a rewind operative in our finishing department.
Billy, you’ve obviously had a busy couple of months. How is your job going so far?
Prior to this job I was working at a Covid testing centre, so this role is totally different. When I first started I spent some time shadowing a couple of colleagues who showed me the ropes. I’m really enjoying it so far as once you’ve got the hang of it, you’re given the freedom to just get on with the job. I have a lot of autonomy already but if I do need help, there’s always someone on hand. I can’t drive yet so I’m working 8am till 4pm Monday to Thursday and 9am till 4 on a Friday, but once I pass my test then I’ll hopefully be doing shifts which means I’ll be able to earn more money.
Was it easy to apply?
Very easy. I had an interview over Facetime followed by an in-person interview. It took probably two or three weeks between me applying and starting the job.
What do you enjoy most about working for Coveris?
I like that I have job security and the money is good. It’s a nice working environment and the factory is really well managed. The managers communicate regularly with the staff, so we’re always kept up to date with what’s going on within the business. I get on well with my colleagues and even though I don’t have to, I often start my shift early or stay late to get a job done which I’m happy to do as I really enjoy working here.
Are there opportunities for progression?
There are lots of opportunities for progression at Cramlington as it’s quite a big factory and I’ve already been offered a promotion! I enjoy learning on the job, and I’m currently in training to become a rewind operative. One day I hope to become a team leader. I feel like I’ve got a long-term future here as a lot of my colleagues have been for 11 years or more which is a good sign!
What have been your highlights to date?
I receive regular feedback and praise if I’m doing a good job which I like. In the beginning I didn’t know what the job codes meant so I started keeping a record every time I learned a new one to help other new starters, and the managers were happy with that, so I felt like I’d achieved something early on! I’m also proud of my recent promotion. The Manager of the factory has been training me up and said he’s been impressed with the work I have done and the feedback he’s received from my line managers.
Is working in the factory what you expected?
Before I started I thought I didn’t know what to expect and thought I’d just be standing on a line, but it’s actually a nice environment to work in. I was really surprised how clean and well organised it is. Everyone in the factory is encouraged to keep their own workspace clean and tidy. We have to wear protective clothing and ear defenders for health and safety reasons, but you soon get used to it. Coveris is currently investing millions of pounds transforming the site into a flagship factory so the floors, staff changing rooms, toilets and the canteen are all brand new. In addition we have also had new machinery across the site.
What are the people like that you work with?
We have a good team and I get on well with everyone. The people here are friendly and supportive and there’s a good camaraderie. They recently organised a work raffle which I won, and all my colleagues were really pleased for me.
What advice would you give to other people thinking of applying for a job at Coveris?
I would encourage anyone to apply – it’s one of the best places I’ve worked. Everyone gets on and the managers thank you for your efforts; you get feedback on your performance, so you know what you’re doing right and where you need to improve. There’s always support available, and the shift managers are really helpful.
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