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George — Lev­el 2 Engineering

George Case Study Photo

What this job has opened my eyes to is that there are end­less oppor­tu­ni­ties for me. There are thou­sands of things I could pos­si­bly do. 

George Farmer — Lev­el 2 Engi­neer­ing Apprentice — 

We caught up with George who’s approach­ing the end of his Lev­el 2 engi­neer­ing course and is keen to move onto his Lev­el 3.

George, who works at Coles Sewing Cen­tre, start­ed his engi­neer­ing career at sixth form as a BTEC qual­i­fi­ca­tion. After spend­ing some time on the course, he felt as though the lack of prac­ti­cal work was hold­ing him back from reach­ing his full poten­tial. For­tu­nate­ly, after speak­ing with the col­lege, George was able to find to Engi­neer­ing course and work place­ment that suit­ed him. 

The rea­son why I didn’t con­tin­ue with my BTEC and chose to go with an appren­tice­ship is that I wasn’t get­ting the prac­ti­cal skills I was look­ing for. I found that my course was all the­o­ry-based when I was look­ing for some­thing more prac­ti­cal. With this appren­tice­ship, with­in the first cou­ple of weeks, I was work­ing on machin­ery and deal­ing with a range of tasks that I’ve nev­er expe­ri­enced. It was a big step up and I’m glad that I did it because I’m learn­ing a lot of skills.

He now works along­side his col­league Lee ensur­ing that all the machin­ery that pass­es through their doors works effec­tive­ly. Some of his work will take him across the coun­try to assist with machine main­te­nance at schools. Oth­er times he will need to address advanced repairs – a chal­lenge that George enjoys as it keeps his mind active and adds vari­ety to his workdays. 

I like a chal­lenge and I like to work prac­ti­cal­ly. I knew that my mind would always be kept work­ing on a course like this. I am always deal­ing with some­thing new. With the repairs, we have run through var­i­ous tech­niques to work out why it’s not work­ing prop­er­ly and then we have to solve it. My colleague’s been here for over 12 years and he’s still encoun­ter­ing things he’s nev­er come across before.

With his cur­rent course fin­ish­ing in May, George has decid­ed that he wants to progress onto a Lev­el 3 qual­i­fi­ca­tion and he’s hap­py he can do it with Coles Sewing Cen­tre. His time in the work­place and his appren­tice­ship expe­ri­ence has helped him realise that he’s got a secure career ahead of him. 

After my Lev­el 3 I’d like to stay on here because I’m real­ly enjoy­ing it. What this job has opened my eyes to is that there are end­less oppor­tu­ni­ties for me. There are thou­sands of things I could pos­si­bly do.

We asked George what his advice is to oth­er young peo­ple who are strug­gling to decide on their next steps in education. 

You need to do some­thing that you enjoy. So once you fin­ish school, stick with the sub­jects that you enjoy the most. 

George Farmer — Lev­el 2 Engi­neer­ing Apprenticeship

George reports to CEO and Man­ag­ing Direc­tor Neil, who has mutu­al feel­ings about the apprenticeship.

George has got through the pro­gram well. He’s com­ing towards the end of it now and he fin­ish­es in May, and he’s been moti­vat­ed to stick with it. He’s done his extra 20% with­out being real­ly pushed by us and he’s got­ten on with it. It’s been a pleas­ant experience.

Neil believes that appren­tice­ships should ben­e­fit the appren­tice just as much as the employ­er. For busi­ness­es, appren­tice­ships can be the eas­i­est way to expand a work­force because of the gov­ern­ment fund­ing avail­able. As employ­ers can get to know their appren­tices well through­out their course and help shape their devel­op­ment, they make a great long-term asset to any team. 

It’s got to be invest­ment you make in the employ­ee for the future of your busi­ness, so it’s good for both them and you. If you want your busi­ness to pros­per, you’ll need good staff to do that. 

Neil Coles — Coles Sewing Centre

Good, hard­work­ing, like­able staff real­ly help a busi­ness thrive. It’s impor­tant to keep a hold of val­ued team mem­bers by giv­ing them good pro­gres­sion oppor­tu­ni­ties and work­ing with them to reach their own per­son­al goals. Neil did this with two exist­ing mem­bers of staff by sign­ing them up for our Lead­er­ship and Team Skills course through the GRADS for D2N2 project.

We have two staff mem­bers who are doing a team lead­er­ship course. One of them is com­ing up to the end of her peri­od of train­ing, then she’s ready to become a team leader with­in the busi­ness. Not only has she had 2 years of use­ful train­ing, for her and for us, but she’s also going to get a pro­mo­tion and a salary increase once she moves into her new role.

The future looks bright for both George’s career and Coles Sewing Centre’s busi­ness plans. With high praise from his employ­er, we’re sure that George is going to breeze through his next qual­i­fi­ca­tion and go on to be a trea­sured, per­ma­nent mem­ber of staff.