Former Apprentice Case Study – Sadie Lewis

Name: Sadie Lewis
Employer: Southco Manufacturing UK
Type of apprenticeship: Tool Making

I left school in 1987, it was a difficult time for me as I did not know what I wanted to do, although I knew Sixth Form was not for me. I knew that I wanted to learn about “Engineering” but what! What was engineering? Back in 1987 it was a whole different world for a female entering this field. It was not an area that my careers teacher encouraged me to follow, which was one reason that drove me to succeed.

I started at a local manufacturing company on a Youth Training Scheme (YTS) in engineering. It was great. I had one day a week at college to study a BTEC First in Engineering, it gave me practical knowledge as well as the theory to back up what I was learning. I changed to an apprenticeship after one year, which allowed me to continue my studies. I trained as a toolmaker and was then offered a new role in the “drawing office”, here I learnt how to do technical drawings. This I did for approximately 2 years, when I was offered another position in a new company.

During this time, I had the opportunity to learn computer aided design and project management. This I did for 5 years, in parallel with completing my HNC then a degree, in Manufacturing Operations.

On completing my degree I was offered a job in Design at Southco Manufacturing Ltd, I have been working here since 1996. I have learnt so much during this time in various departments, Design, Management, Quality, Environmental Management and more recently Health and Safety.

I firmly believe that Apprenticeships give you the opportunity to learn whilst providing a strong foundation for you to build upon.