25% of Dale Power Solutions workforce are either an apprentice or a former apprentice, which demonstrates the successful careers apprenticeships can bring. As part of promoting apprenticeships, Dale Power Solutions have asked some of their current apprentices to interview former apprentices on their views. This week, award winning apprentice Natasha Pitts interviews former apprentice Matt Speight, currently a sales manager at Dale Power Solutions.
1. Why did you take on an apprenticeship?
I applied for college to do engineering, and then applied for an apprenticeship as well, to five or six companies. I had four interviews, followed by two job offers. I preferred Dale over the other company that offered me an apprenticeship.
2. What is your current role in the company and how did you get there?
I am currently a Sales Manager at Dale Power Solutions. To start with I worked in test and applied for a job in tendering. However, I learnt that the tendering position was to be made redundant, so i decided to apply for a sales position instead.
3. How many years have you been at Dale Power Solutions?
Over 21 years in total:
1991 – 1996 – Gristhorpe site, working in panel wire, plant wire, test, engineering
1996-1998 – Erskine UPS test department
1998 – 1999 – Erskine Tendering
1999 – 2000 – Erskine Direct Sales – Standard UPS Sales Managmer
2000 – 2002 – Left and worked at another company for 2 years
2002 – 2003 – Erskine tendering
2003 – present – Erskine Direct Sales, Export and UK accounts
4. Where did you do your apprenticeship?
Dale, in Hitchin. I started off wiring, before moving on to panel wire and plant wire.
5. What discipline did you do your apprenticeship in?
Electrical, Wiring and Test, to a higher national certificate (HNC) level.
6. What did you most enjoy about your apprenticeship?
I loved getting paid and training at the same time. The apprenticeship course was the same course at college that I had applied for full time, but I wouldn’t have got paid or have received employer support. The apprenticeship at Dale offered me both. My first full year at Dale was spent working full time at college, followed by part-time day release for the next three years.
7. Why would you recommend an apprenticeship?
Certainly. The cost to get equivalent training is so much higher, and it is very hard to get the work experience. I would recommend getting an apprenticeship as soon as possible after school or college.
8. Do you have any advice for those looking into apprenticeships?
If you know the subject area, apply to all the local companies who employ staff in those areas, even if they don’t advertise for apprenticeships. Apply for the apprenticeship early, around January or February of the intake year. If you’re not sure of your subject area, apply for a wide variety of apprenticeship options.
9. Give one piece of advice to apprentices and future apprentices.
Once you get an apprenticeship, knuckle down and don’t waste the opportunity which you have been given.
The interviews have been conducted as part of the Brathay challenge and in build up to National Apprenticeship Week (3– 7 March 2014 ).