Leeds Manufacturing Festival: Apprenticeship Live Event

On Thursday 28th January, we had the pleasure of being on the panel of the Apprenticeship Live event hosted by the Leeds Manufacturing Festival and Ahead Partnership.

The event had a live link to a local school in Leeds where a group of Year 8 (12-13 year old) students asked a guest panel a number of apprenticeship themed questions. Gary Freeman, our Senior Engineering Recruitment Consultant, joined the live panel to talk about his experience as an apprentice in manufacturing.

Students: “What do you like about working in manufacturing?”

Northern Flags  – I love making products, and seeing how the product progresses and is marketed and sold. It’s so exciting being part of the production team, knowing that something you are working on might be put into an Ipad or a car or something else exciting.

“Has anybody on the panel ever had a change of career?”

The Works Recruitment  – I started my apprenticeship at 16 and did 4 years in CNC Programming. I left that role to go into retail as I thought I needed something different. I spent 10 years in retail, then realised I was missing something…..manufacturing! I have always enjoyed seeing how things are made so manufacturing has always been the perfect sector for me to work in. I started looking for new roles and saw an opportunity in recruitment so went for it! And I have never turned back.

“How do you prepare for an interview?”

Mpac Lambert – Make yourself calm, listen to music, make sure you are mentally prepared. Doing research on the company to make sure you know who they are and what they do is essential. Be confident.

The Works Recruitment – It’s a 2-way process is an interview. Think to yourself – do you want to spend 8 hours a day at that company? Prepare good questions for the employer to find a bit more out about the business to see whether you are the right fit for them and if you are going to enjoy working there.

What do you look for when you are recruiting?

MPM – Honesty. Make sure your CV is true of your skills and personality. If you are an introvert and don’t like confrontation, tell us! No employer wants to see lies on CV’s. I also look for people who have an ambition to learn. We like a willingness to learn – it’s very important to us as employers.

Why should I go for an apprenticeship?

Northern Flags– You get to work in an environment with professional, skilled people. You get hands on experience of what it’s like day to day working in manufacturing. And you get to ask your colleagues questions and learn from them. You also get paid for it!

How will Brexit affect manufacturing?

Daletech – We do believe that a lot of manufacturing will come back to the UK. We can’t see it affecting the manufacturing industry as we are getting busier and busier. Which is a great thing!

Northern Flags – Manufacturing is growing, even during Covid. UK supply demand has gone up and we have seen careers in manufacturing increase. There’s more roles available as companies are expanding.

How did you get an apprenticeship?

Northern Flags – I knew I wanted to get into digital marketing and I contacted a company I found online and approached them about doing some work for them. It just went from there really. I have learned so many new skills now and I’m so glad I went into an apprenticeship.

Mpac Lambert– I went to 6th form with the intention of going to University, but in my last year decided that wasn’t what I wanted to do. I wanted to do a more hands on role, so decided to do an apprenticeship at 19 in engineering. It’s never too late, you can do an apprenticeship at any age. It took me a year to find the right company and opportunity. I do 60% hands on skills and 40% theory and learning. I get to move around different parts of the business so get to learn so many sides of the business.

What do you think will change in manufacturing over the next few years?

Daletech – There will be a massive uptake of digital technology. Don’t believe it when you hear about machines taking over peoples jobs as it’s not the case – we still need people to run them. Digital will be massive in the next few years, it is already!

What motivates you in your role?

The Works Recruitment – I really love helping people get a job in manufacturing. I like the fact that I am working for 2 sets of people – the clients who are looking for new staff, and also the candidates who are the ones looking for work. So I get double the satisfaction!

Where can we find out more about manufacturing?

The Works Recruitment – Work out what areas of manufacturing are of interest to you – what do you want to do and where do you want to work? You can do research on You Tube, Google, books, online articles and magazines. They can all give you information about a career in manufacturing. Or just get in touch with us! We are based in Leeds and would love to help you – just call 0113 320 1130 and ask for Gary.

Find out more about the Leeds Manufacturing Festival and how you can raise the profile of manufacturing in Leeds here:  https://leedsmanufacturingfestival.co.uk/