To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week 2018, we’re catching up with some of our brightest apprentices who are building their careers across a range of industries, and finding out how they make a difference to the businesses from their employers.

Today we hear from Lillie Cooper, a Mechanical Engineering Apprentice at Group HES in Gloucester.

16-year-old Lillie, a former Chosen Hill pupil from Gloucester knew exactly what career path she wanted to take. She decided an apprenticeship would be the best option for her as it enabled her to learn from professionals at work, as well as the experienced lecturers at GC. Lillie is responsible for the assembly of CMB units and organising the company’s apprentices in order for assembly to be completed on time. She’s learnt many skills already, including identifying and modifying components, testing procedures, contamination awareness and preventative measures; alongside transferable ones such as problem solving, time management, leadership and communication.

She said: “The best part of my apprenticeship so far was travelling to Leeds to visit the main CMB workshop, as I have now a vivid image of how the product we produce is used and the stages that happens after it leaves our workshop.

“I would like to go into design engineering in the future, but after my apprenticeship, I would like to study the HNC and develop my education in the different aspects of engineering. My apprenticeship has allowed me to get into the working environment and gain experience from such a young age, which helps my knowledge develop as I am learning both hands-on skills at work and theory skills at college.”

Production Manager, Rob Oldham, says the company were unable to find available workers with the skill sets they required, so hiring motivated apprentices was the best option and they had past positive experiences with apprentices who progressed within the company.

Rob said: “We have taken on apprentices in the past, who have gone on to complete the HNC, filling a variety of roles such as site service engineers and design engineers; roles we found difficult to recruit for. Our apprentices have the opportunity to further themselves via a range of careers; benefit from access to professional advice relating to their job role; and develop in different areas of engineering.

“We have found that apprentices are of value to our company, bringing with them enthusiasm and eagerness to learn. It also benefits some more experienced fitters as they take pride in passing on their knowledge. It is uplifting to see them become skilled and knowledgeable engineers.”

If you’re considering launching your career via the apprenticeship route, find out more about GC’s award-winning apprenticeships, meet employers and apply for live vacancies at its Apprenticeship Open Evening on Wednesday 28 March. Visit www.gcapprenticeshipeve.co.uk to book your place.

Gloucestershire College

Gloucestershire College is located across two campuses in Cheltenham and Gloucestershire. The college has a strong focus on high quality technical and professional education, delivered in partnership with a range of employers. The college works with around 1300 employers and delivers 1200 apprenticeships annually, with 650 starts in 2017/18.

he best part of my apprenticeship so far was travelling to Leeds to visit the main CMB workshop, as I have now a vivid image of how the product we produce is used and the stages that happens after it leaves our workshop