Chris Eckert, Packing Automation Ltd, Shortlisted for the Semta Apprentice of the Year Award

Chris Eckert, electrical engineer apprentice at Packaging Automation Ltd (PA) was recently shortlisted for the Semta Apprentice of the Year Award. We heard from Chris about his experiences to date and what the future holds for him.

“I began my engineering career with Packaging Automation Ltd (PA), leading manufacturers of reliable, versatile and cost effective filling and tray sealing solutions, in August 2011.


During my three year apprenticeship I have spent the majority of my time working in the factory and gaining invaluable experience in all sectors of the company, from the design sector to systems, fabrication, service, machine assembly, wiring and the machine shop.

As part of this scheme I have also been working towards engineering qualifications at a tailored college course in order that I gain the necessary credential to progress as an engineer within the company.

I am now in the third year of my apprenticeship and have so far achieved an NVQ Level 2.

Packaging Automation is passionate about apprenticeships and they have invested in my training and personal development over the past three years. I have particularly enjoyed working on the range of different products that PA manufacture as well as accompanying engineers to customers’ sites to deal with faults and breakdowns.

I am constantly challenged by the work and encouraged to develop my skills as an engineer in an environment where I am supported and coached to be the best I can be. Most importantly, I have always felt like an equal and valuable member of the team.

I have recently been shortlisted for the Semta Apprentice of the Year Award which is a huge honour. It feels great that my hard work and academic achievements have been recognised at this level. I very much hope that this nomination will highlight the brilliant work and great effort PA Ltd do to invest in young people, like myself, and our future.

I am very much looking forward to attending the award ceremony in February and hearing about the achievements of all the other nominees and the great things apprentices can do.”


For more than 25 years, Packaging Automation has been offering high quality engineering apprenticeships to young school leavers. These apprenticeships offer a genuine opportunity to recruits to gain a recognized engineering qualification with full time employment at the end.

PA is proud of its apprentice scheme which enables it to ‘grow’ its own talent and identify the individuals who will become the managers, machinery designers, systems engineers, sales engineers, and project engineers of the future. To find out more information about PA’s apprenticeship scheme, please visit

To find out more information about The 5% Club, and how to become a member, please visit  or get in touch by emailing Information about the campaign can also be found on Twitter, and LinkedIn.


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