We have recently interviewed an Apprentice Production Technician, Sumaya who does her apprenticeship with SEMTA at Surface Measurement Systems. Here is what she had to say about her apprenticeship.

What made you choose this Apprenticeship?

I wanted to pursue a pathway away from traditional education that had more of a focus on practical engineering.

What level of qualification did you take?

I had my GCSEs prior to starting the apprenticeship and am now working towards a level 3 in engineering (with an NVQ in electrical and electronic engineering) with SEMTA

What did you think about doing when you first considering your next step in education?

I was considering going to university to study engineering, but ultimately knew it was not the pathway I would enjoy taking.

What made you decide on studying an Apprenticeship over the other options available to you?

I was always more drawn to the practical side of engineering, and I was well aware that it was only in a workplace I would get that experience. I decided I would get both the educational and work-place benefits, if I pursued an Apprenticeship.

How likely would you be to recommend an apprenticeship or traineeship?

Very likely; even for students who have sat their A-Levels or BTECs. Advanced apprenticeships are great and there are degree apprenticeship programmes.

What are the main benefits of your apprenticeship or traineeship training?

My training isn't rigid, I am able to constantly learn and grow with the help of my team and find myself available to take on new challenges and experiences.

What were your career aspirations before starting?

My career aspirations were always to work in a company that was furthering a field or pushing the boundaries of a field, such as SMS is doing with sorption science. My career aspirations to become an engineer as such haven't changed, but I think since starting the apprenticeship, I am keen to continue my education alongside work post-apprenticeship.

What do you do day-to-day at work?

Day-to-day at work consists of working in production, assembling the products that SMS will ship. Production members all take products from kit and through to testing and shipping, and I will typically be working on the DVS Intrinsic+, one of the products in the DVS Line.

What is your level of responsibility?

I am given responsibility under the supervision of senior members of production and am responsible for safely carrying out what the production manager asks of me, identifying when help is required.

Is your apprenticeship helping build your career?

Definitely. Everyone has to start their career somewhere, and I have had the pleasure of starting mine with a wonderful team of people, who I am gradually building my skills with.

Are you enjoying your apprenticeship?

Certainly – although it can be difficult to manage work, apprenticeship and college assignments, I enjoy the work I do and enjoy coming to work every day.

How about the training?

I am able to request training if I am unsure of any processes, in a very open work atmosphere that encourages utilising the skills of others and its resources. If I ever feel I need extra training, I am able to confidently request it and find myself enjoying learning new skills and processes.

Do you have any top tips or words of wisdom for someone thinking about doing an apprenticeship?

Find an industry you love; this is going to be your day-in, day-out job, and it does well to enjoy what you do. Always be open to new experiences and new training and use the resources of your company and the people you work with to improve yourself – they have far more experience than you do, and you'll do well to benefit from this.

How long did it take you to find your apprenticeship?

I started searching seriously around March of 2018 and started at SMS six months later. I used GetMyFirstJob whilst searching for open apprenticeship engineering vacancies. It was pretty simple to use, and all laid out clearly.

How did you find your apprenticeship role?

Contacted via email and later by phone.

How likely are you to recommend GetMyFirstJob?

Very likely, it led me here!