Diane Duncan - Darning Modern Apprentice

Diane Duncan - Darning Modern Apprentice

How did you first hear about the apprenticeship?

There were already apprentices in my department when I started at Johnstons. Once they’d finished, my supervisor asked if I would like to do it.

Why did you decide to do this particular apprenticeship?

Why not? I had nothing to lose.

How has this apprenticeship helped you? How will it benefit your future career goals?

It makes you realise the process darners work through and how much I actually do by writing it down.

Describe a typical day

Everyday is different. We get new and elaborate designs all the time and have to figure out how to darn them.

What are the most important skills for you to do your job well?

- sewing skills to be able to darn

- an eye for picking out faults and different colours

- patience (I can be working on some pieces for 30 hours or more)

How do you organise your time between work and study?

Studying is all done on the job but sometimes it can be hard to find time due to the business of the department and the impacts of covid.

Is there anything you wish you knew about the apprenticeship before you started it?

It was a lot easier than I though it was going to be compared to SVQ’s I have done in the past which required long hours of studying at home. I didn’t realise how much health & safety would be involved so now I’m a lot more aware of hazards and safety precautions around the department.

What do you like most about your role?

The satisfaction I get when I finish a piece. It’s a great feeling knowing that something that was unusable, and would have cost the company thousands of pounds, is now usable because I have fixed it.

What parts of your job do you find the most challenging?

The long hours & shift pattern.

What advice would you give to others thinking about applying for an apprenticeship?

Go for it, it’s worth it and it’s another qualification. I’ve already told some of my colleagues to apply.

What are your future career plans?

I hope to be here until I retire. With reduced hours, I think this is a job I can enjoy until retirement.

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