Apprentices make their mark at global brand business

The world’s fastest-growing and most innovative digital brand management business has taken on two former Ron Dearing UTC apprentices to bolster its growing Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI) team.

Sonoco Trident, one of the school’s Major Partners, has given apprenticeship opportunities to seven former students over the past three years and they have all gone on to have successful careers at the company’s headquarters in Kingswood, Hull.

Kelland Sharpe and Thomas Staniforth, both 18, are this year’s CGI Artist Apprentices and are settling into their roles in the office, as well as spending some time working from home due to continued Covid-19 precautions.

Their roles include creating advertising images, graphics and artwork designs for world-leading companies, brands and products, including Reckitt and Nestlé. They will also study at Hull College one day a week, as well as training with a specialist CGI trainer at Sonoco Trident as part of their two-year apprenticeships.

Kelland said: “It was a big aspiration for me to work for Sonoco Trident and I grabbed the opportunity with both hands.

Sonoco Trident Operations Manager Andy Spencer with former Ron Dearing UTC students and CGI Artist apprentices Thomas Staniforth, centre, and Kelland Sharpe. Picture: Neil Holmes Photography.


“We’re going through our training now and four years at Ron Dearing UTC has definitely prepared me for the workplace. The specialisms I studied were perfect for setting me up for this apprenticeship.

“I’m really enjoying it and I hope to work my way up here. An apprenticeship was definitely the right path for me because I can earn while I learn.”

Thomas said: “I love all things digital and Sonoco Trident is the right place for me. It’s a great company to work for.

“We’re creating advertisements using 3D modelling software to give extra depth to the artwork for when it’s used on websites and in other places.

“Ron Dearing UTC is a brilliant school and focuses on how you should learn, respond and act in a workplace. You talk to the teachers as if they are your employers and everything is done to such a high standard. It sets you up for the real world.”

As well as its base in Hull, Sonoco Trident has teams based in Europe, America, Asia and Australia and more than 2,000 of the world’s leading brands trust the business with their brand integrity.

Operations Manager Andy Spencer, who also began his career as an apprentice, said Kelland and Thomas have made great first impressions since joining the business.

He said: “Ron Dearing UTC apprentices come to us work-ready, they’re on time, smart, engaged and keen to learn. We’re really impressed by them and this is a really good route into the industry.

“The feedback about Kelland and Thomas has been great and I think they’re going to have brilliant careers here. Everyone has different ways of learning and you don’t have to go down the university route.

“They’re learning about the business and their roles. Our CGI team is growing and Kelland and Thomas are very much part of that.”