During my final year in school I struggled with the decision of what next? I knew that full time education was not the answer for me personally, but I wanted to do something that would still provide me with the opportunity to build a progressive career if I worked hard.
With an interest in technical subjects, I concluded that getting on an apprenticeship scheme could be the perfect solution for me, and I was soon successful in securing an apprenticeship in Tool Making, and as part of that attending Technical College part time to do an ONC/HNC in Production Engineering.
During my apprenticeship years, I worked in many different and varied functions across the business, and in doing this was able to build good relationships and gain a clear understanding of the direction in which I wanted to progress. I subsequently moved through roles in Tool Design, Manufacturing Engineering, Production Supervision, Continuous improvement, Tool Room Management, and onto Production Management.
After a few years of experience in leadership roles, and because I had the qualifications achieved through my apprenticeship, my employer (Southco Manufacturing Ltd) offered me the chance to study part time for a degree. I took up this opportunity and completed an MBA in Business Management. Gaining this qualification along with the personal development in doing it, helped me go on to achieve roles in Plant Management, and then on to my current position.
Looking back now, I know I gained so much from doing an apprenticeship. The mix of being ‘hands on’ along with the academic qualifications enabled me to really understand how things are manufactured, how mechanical processes work, and a pretty good idea of what can be achieved!
I am very passionate apprenticeships and clear on the tremendous value they bring, and right now I’m really excited to see the exceptionally talented people in Southco that are moving through apprenticeships, and are quickly developing as tomorrow’s technical experts, and leaders of our business.