Thursday, March 7 2019

National Apprenticeship Week – our Technical Director gives his top tips for those considering an apprentice

This week is National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) 2019 – a time for employers and apprentices from across England to celebrate the success of an alternative route to a career path. And to celebrate the occasion, we spoke to our very own Technical Director, Gareth Richards, who started out as an apprentice himself, to find out his top tips for those considering an apprenticeship as their career path.

What advice would you give to anyone considering an apprenticeship in engineering?

The best advice I could give would be to have some loose career goals in mind, and from this, consider the workplace and variety of work on offer through the apprenticeship. It’s also important to consider the people within the business, and who you will be working with, as the right people and environment will ultimately shape you and your career.

What attributes make a good apprentice?

Having the right attitude is the most important – being honest, open minded and willing to learn are three crucial attributes.

What makes apprenticeships such an invaluable experience?

Apprenticeships are a great experience because an apprentice will be able to learn on the job and then carry this practical learning into academic success, which is in my opinion the best way to learn and gain full understanding of a profession.

What are the top things to consider when looking for an apprenticeship?

I’d definitely recommend doing research to ensure you’re using a well-respected training provider, and also make sure that you’re maximising your contact time at college by getting as much advice and help from your lecturers as possible, and don’t be afraid to ask for some one-to-one meetings.

Did any current Salamander employees start out as an apprentice? If so, why did they choose this route?

Yes, we have several employees who joined via this round, myself included. Typically I think people who do an apprenticeship see it as a preferred route as opposed to A levels and a degree. An apprenticeship means you can still have an education, but you also get paid and learn a profession at the same time.

What are the typical duties of apprentices at Salamander?

We try and give all apprentices a varied look into engineering and quality & manufacturing. In the first years they will shadow our professionals in different departments, but after that we get them to be fully hands on!

How does the R&D team benefit from recruiting apprentices?

We love having apprentices at Salamander! It’s great for our senior engineers to mentor apprentices and train the next generation of engineers – it keeps it real for the apprentices but also challenges our team’s management skills.

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