Nestlé UK and Ireland: Sara-Jayne Barker - Careers case study

Sara-Jayne Barker is a Modern Craft Apprentice at Nestlé

Tell us about yourself, what do you do?
I currently maintain the machines in most of the departments on site, performing routine inspections and maintenance as well as taking part in projects and new installations.

What do you enjoy most about your role?
The thing I enjoy the most would be the fact that every day is different so you always have the opportunity to learn something new or gain new experiences. Also, while this is going on you get to work with colleagues who have a lifetime of experience and are able to pass on knowledge and skills which cannot be learnt from anywhere else.

When did you start working for your company?
I joined Nestlé in September 2012 after studying agricultural engineering and working as a mechanic on a farm

What are the qualifications needed for this field?
5 GSCEs including maths, science and English grade A*-C

What was your route into the sector?
Left school after GCSEs to attend Askham Bryan to study for a subsidiary diploma in Land Based Technology before seeing Nestles' advert and applying.

What attracted you to joining the industry?
I was attracted to engineering because I love figuring how things work and how to make them work better – I was attracted to the sense of pride you feel knowing that you have fixed or improved and a machine or system.

I was attracted to food production because it presented me with the opportunity to work with and learn about brands that I had grown up with and known about since I was very young.

What are your/your businesses key achievements to date?
The highlight of my career so far was being in the top three for the National Female Apprentice of the Year 2013 when I was able to attend the WISE Award ceremony in London and meet with Princess Anne.

If you had to give one reason why young people should consider this career path, what would it be?
This career path offers young people the chance to gain hands on skills as well as technical qualifications. In addition to this, you can gain the skills without getting into the debt that other people would without the apprenticeship path.

What advice would you give to other people looking to pursue a career in this sector?
For people wanting to move into the industry I would tell them to follow the path they want to and not be swayed by others' opinions. I would also tell them to be enthusiastic and take every opportunity given to them.

Do you think it's important for women to consider similar careers? If so, why?
I think that, if women want to pursue similar careers to this, then it is important that they do so because you should always pursue and do what makes you happy despite others opinions.

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Last reviewed: 22 Jun 2014