‘My career has gone full circle, I feel very lucky doing what I currently do, which is giving back what I was once given; training and development needed for a career in engineering’.
I completed my apprenticeship, managed by SIGTA, at Parker Pen many years ago, being taught by very knowledgeable and skilled toolmakers. They were so skilled, that there would never have been enough time to learn everything they all knew. I feel very honoured to have been taught by them. I learnt a vast range of machining and manufacturing skills. However, nothing lasts forever. When Parker Pen took its manufacturing abroad, I found a new role as an engineer but in a completely different sector, pharmaceuticals, working for GlaxoSmith Kline. This was the other end of the spectrum. I was used to getting dirty as a toolmaker, then went on to learn about cleanliness, sterile environments and drug manufacture. This was a great opportunity to broaden my manufacturing skills, knowledge and work abroad.
Then, as if by fate, I saw a job advert for a Training Officer at SIGTA. My old Training Officer, Ted (a great chap), had retired, I had to apply! I now work in the education sector. This was another skill set to learn altogether; rules, awarding bodies, funding, all new challenges which are forever changing. I now set up and manage apprenticeships for some great employers and apprentices. I work with a great team at SIGTA, which I’ve have done for the last 15 years, giving back the knowledge and opportunities I was once given when I did my apprenticeship.
Why are apprenticeships so important? I believe apprenticeships are important because they have given me the skills and knowledge to be able to help others who are on similar journeys. I have seen my apprentices go on to be great craftsperson’s, supervisors, directors and even run their own businesses. They are the future of industry.
Since SIGTA started in 1964 we’ve had many Success Stories demonstrating that SIGTA doesn’t just provide apprenticeships, we provide GREAT apprenticeships!