Apprenticeship Q&A: Jodie Richards, Manufacturing Apprentice at Renishaw
PUBLISHED: 14:57 15 January 2019 | UPDATED: 15:05 15 January 2019
Jodie Richards is a Manufacturing Apprentice at matriculation giant Renishaw in Gloucestershire. Here, she explains why apprenticeships will fight the skills shortage
What do you do and how long have you been doing it?
I’m a Manufacturing Apprentice at Renishaw in Wotton-under-Edge. I’ve been on the scheme for a year and a half and I’m currently in my second year of the programme.
In my first year, I joined Gloucestershire Engineering Training full time, to get to grips with the basics of engineering. As well as continuing my studies at college, the on-the-job learning aspect of the apprenticeship means I get to spend time working in different departments, rotating every 6 months, before choosing one area in which to specialise.
Placements could be in maintenance, on the production line or in the machine shop, so I will get a rounded and well-balanced experience of several roles in the company.
Why did you choose an apprenticeship?
Before starting the apprenticeship, I was working as an operator. I developed a real interest and passion for engineering.
I chose an apprenticeship because it was an opportunity to earn and learn. As an older apprentice, it wouldn’t have been possible to kickstart my engineering career in any other way.
What have you learned since taking on an apprentice role?
In my first year, I gained experience using a wide range of equipment, including manual milling and turning machines, domestic wiring, electric panel wiring and the basics of electronic circuits.
As well as gaining hand-on experience, I studied mechanical, electrical and electronic principles, health and safety and organisational efficiency, alongside maths and science. This gave me a detailed background knowledge to back up the technical skills I was learning in the workshop.
Working on projects within the company has allowed me to develop my communications and teamwork skills across a team of apprentices, graduates and management.
Would you encourage other people to consider an apprenticeship?
Apprenticeships are a great opportunity for those leaving school and for those further on in their careers. You can learn new skills and gain nationally recognised qualifications while earning. Not to mention, you get to work in an interesting and exciting environment.
An apprenticeship is an opportunity to progress and develop within a business, opening doors to exciting careers in the future. Apprenticeships can work for everyone, no matter your age. If you want to pursue a career in engineering, you should not limit yourself.
What do you plan to do following your apprenticeship?
My goal is to start a career in medical engineering, as I’ve always been fascinated by it. At Renishaw, I could have the opportunity work within additive manufacturing, developing customised medical implants. This is a cutting-edge technology and it is my apprenticeship that is opening up this career pathway to me.
Applications for Renishaw’s 2019 apprenticeship intake are now open until March 1, 2019. The company is recruiting for 54 apprentices, including; engineering, software and embedded electronic design and development. Visit the website here.