• 12 SEP 17

    Walking in the Shoes of a Real-Life Apprentice

    Most of us has seen ‘The Apprentice’ on TV however do you know what being an apprentice is really like? What are the benefits of becoming an apprentice when compared to further education or university?

    Meet George Barrett who started his apprenticeship scheme at Mettler-Toledo Safeline X-ray in October 2014. In this interview, he provides insight into the real-life of being an apprentice.

    Applying for the Apprenticeship Scheme

    “I initially applied to an online advert for the apprenticeship scheme. At the time, I had six GCSE’s including Maths and English, plus I had experience in carpentry working for my dad in the holidays which I hoped would put me ahead of others applying”.

    Starting at Mettler-Toledo

    “When I started, I was nervous about what I had to do however I quickly overcame this by supportive colleagues bringing me up to speed with my responsibilities. Everyone was really welcoming and helpful. I was introduced to everyone on the shop floor and met some very good characters”.

    Day-to-Day Responsibilities

    “As an apprentice, my main role is to learn all the aspects of the build process of an x-ray machine including working in the highly specialised areas such as the detector and tank rooms. The aim is, by the time I have finished my apprenticeship, I am fully trained to work completely independently on the shop floor”.

    Qualification Opportunities

    “Whilst at Mettler-Toledo, I have been given the opportunity to gain my Level 3 NVQ Certificate qualification which I have nearly finished. Plus, I have completed First Aid training and gained my fork lift truck licence. In 2018, while still working here, I am looking to participate in the Higher National Certification. This qualification is a huge stepping stone in terms of additional learning which many advanced engineering roles demand. This aspiration would not have been possible without this apprenticeship”.

    Unparalleled Benefits

    “Compared to peers who solely went into education, I have been able to learn first-hand in an actual work place environment whilst progressing my academic career. At work, I have the unique opportunity to listen and learn from skilled professionals that have been in the industry for many years. Having both practical and theoretical knowledge is the perfect learning experience as by only having both can anyone really master an engineering role”.

    Work Highlights

    “My proudest moments have been gaining my qualifications and completing my first x-ray inspection machine. I realise that I am a small cog in a large wheel however the work that I do…help to build x-ray machines…is part of a bigger picture. Knowing that we ship our x-ray machines to food manufacturers around the world to make food safer for people, like me, to eat is really satisfying”.

    Looking to the Future

    “My aims for 2018 are to gain more qualifications, increase my knowledge about x-ray systems and to progress within engineering. Being an apprentice has given me the foundations to shape my career path”.

    About the Mettler-Toledo Apprenticeship Scheme:

    Mettler-Toledo Product Inspection operates its Apprenticeship Scheme in many of its divisions including Safeline X-ray, based in Royston, Hertfordshire and Safeline Metal Detection, in Salford, Manchester. The next Apprenticeship Programme lasts typically 3 years. All apprentices have stayed to work full time within Mettler-Toledo after graduation. Career progression is a key focus at Mettler-Toledo and some successful Graduate Apprentices include Vadim Novikov and Ben Hawkes who continue to work with Mettler-Toledo Safeline X-ray.

    If you are interested in learning more about the scheme, please comment below.

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