Multi skilled apprentice - Krafts Foods

"My job is more varied than it would have been without formal training, and my prospects for the future are much better."

Jamie McGowan, 21, Multi skilled apprentice - Krafts Foods

Tell us about yourself, what do you do?

Jamie McGowan

At work I undertake a huge amount of training, this includes mechanical and electrical. Every single day there is a different job on as it is such a diverse environment to work in. Some of the tasks I undertake are faultfinding, machine work, electrical, planned maintenance and rebuilds.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I enjoy the great variation in work which each day brings. I never know until I get there what new skills I will learn. There is always something different to do, and the mentoring I have received from Kraft technicians in a very wide variety of tasks, has been brilliant.

When did you start working for your company?

August 2009

What are the qualifications needed for this field?

4 A-C GCSE's

A Level History & GCSEs at C and above including English, Maths and Science

I studied Mechanical Engineering at college and after a spell as an apprentice in another sector which was suffering during the recession, I realised that the Food / Drinks sector held the most promise for the future.

What attracted you to joining the industry?

I knew that Kraft had an exceptional reputation locally as a great employer, and I also wanted to work in the Foods/ Drinks industry, because of its long term potential.

What are your/your businesses key achievements to date?

Most Outstanding Student of the Year, Outstanding Apprentice of the Year and gaining ten distinctions.

How have you benefitted from doing an apprenticeship as opposed to just getting a job without formal training or choosing a more traditional degree route?

My job is more varied than it would have been without formal training, and my prospects for the future are much better. Also, I have not incurred debts, which I would have done had I gone down the University route. I have hands on experience which I would not otherwise have had. I have also become a member of the I.E.T that Kraft's paid for, and continue to study for my academic qualifications.

How do your employers support you in your apprentice?

The management at Kraft have been very supportive in all aspects of my apprenticeship, and have given me advice and help, both financial and in laying the foundations for my future career path.

The company has bought my tools, paid for my travel expenses, and also encouraged me to be part of the social side of the apprenticeship scheme, including paying for trips for the apprentices to Go-karting, and for meals and other social events. Kraft always makes sure that I have the appropriate mentors to train me and that I gain the wide experience I will need for the future.

If you had to give one reason why young people should consider this career path, what would it be?

An apprenticeship gives you the best of both worlds: hands on training and academic excellence.

What advice would you give to other people looking to pursue a career in this sector?

This sector is very go-ahead and innovative. Because it is so competitive, new processes and ideas are always coming to the forefront. It is a modern and futuristic industry. I would advise anyone to apply for an apprenticeship in this sector.

Where do you see your career going in the future?

When I have qualified, I would like to undertake management training and hopefully become part of the management team.

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