What do you do and how long have you been doing it?
I joined Coca-Cola European Partners’ (CCEP) Wakefield factory in August 2015 as an electrical engineering apprentice and am continuing my studies locally at Wakefield College. Now in the third year of my apprenticeship, I work four days a week at the factory in different placements across automation, ASRS warehousing, production line and processing. This has helped me to learn about different areas of the business so that I gain a broad skill set and can see how each section fits into the production process as a whole – helping to bring Coca-Cola products to customers across GB!
Why did you choose an apprenticeship and what have you learned so far?
One of the main reasons I looked for an apprenticeship in engineering is because it challenges me with something new every day. In an industry like manufacturing, which is constantly evolving and innovative, learning never really stops and I enjoy being able to take the theory I’m learning from college and apply it to my day-to-day role on the factory floor. The experience and insights I’ve been able to learn from my teams of experienced engineers has also been invaluable and something that I’ve only been able to gain through doing an apprenticeship.
Would you encourage other people to consider an apprenticeship?
At school I loved maths and science, but I was unaware of the opportunities for young people in related industries like manufacturing, especially for girls. I’ve found that apprenticeships, or ‘earning while you’re learning’, are a great way to get first-hand experience and see how businesses operate from the inside. With that said, I would 100% encourage other school leavers to consider an apprenticeship and would love to see more girls and women in STEM careers like myself.
What do you plan to do following your apprenticeship?
Once I’ve completed my apprenticeship, I want to continue building upon my education and experience to date – potentially pursuing an engineering degree, or a mixed degree that would help me to work across CCEP’s different functions. My ultimate ambition is to move into a managerial role, as throughout my apprenticeship I’ve really found my passion for working with people and leading a team to add real impact and value in a business. I would also be interested in moving across different sites and potentially even different European markets so that I could gain a real understanding of how a business like CCEP operates on a local, national and international level.