The 5% Club Case Study: Anna Schlautmann

The 5% Case Studies offers you an insight into the daily life’s of the apprentices and graduates of the Club’s 19 members. This week, our focus is on award winning MBDA apprentice Anna Schlautmann. Anna was named Apprentice of the Year at the 2013 Manufacturer Awards in December. Read more about Anna’s experiences as a third year Logistics Apprentice at MBDA.

Anna Schlautmann receives her award from Pera Training Chief Executive Richard Grice Copyright Manufacturer 2013

1. What persuaded you to pursue an apprenticeship at MBDA?

I knew that doing an apprenticeship would benefit me more than going to University alone. This is due to the full-time work experience that can be gained, alongside studying the theory at degree level and an NVQ 4. The balance requires hard work and diligence at both.

2. What is your current role?

I am currently a third year Logistics Apprentice working in a placement that involves maintaining the resource pool in manufacturing and analysing the manufacturing workload. This has a vast impact on the business because it helps the business to understand where it needs to maintain skills and knowledge as well as where to meet the project requirements. I have also worked in Project Management on a multi-national missile contract. I was responsible for raising potential risks and opportunities to the project.

3. Describe your daily role at MBDA and the variety of programmes/tasks your involved with.

At MBDA I rotate within placements, for example Supply Chain, Project Management and Logistics. I regularly go into schools and colleges to promote apprenticeships, and specifically women in manufacturing. So far in my apprenticeship, I have visited and presented to 15 schools and colleges, promoting engineering and apprenticeships. This is not solely to inspire young individuals; it is also to influence teachers and parents to know that apprenticeships are a positive route to take.

As teachers and parents are the main influencers of children these days, I ensure that I create a positive image of apprenticeships among that community as well as the young generation, as in my opinion an apprenticeship is the best route.  I am determined to be a role model for apprenticeships; I have therefore chosen to become a STEM ambassador as I would like to inspire young people.

I also co-ordinate the charity challenge team, it is a pleasure to make a difference and host events for charities.

4. What has been the highlight of your apprenticeship so far?

I have had many highlights in my apprenticeship, for example meeting several MPs, touring the house of commons, competing in the national Brathay Apprentice Challenge, promoting manufacturing apprenticeships to girls and making a difference in the workplace. However my biggest highlight was winning the Manufacturer’s National Manufacturer Apprentice of the Year in December 2013.

5. Does an apprenticeship offer benefits that other career routes cannot match? 

I believe that if you compare an apprenticeship to going to university alone, university cannot live up to an apprenticeship. If I was at university I would need work experience to be employable. An apprenticeship offers constant work experience alongside your qualifications, this enables apprentices to understand the business environment and more than any individual studying theory alone.

01-Anna-Schlautmann © MBDA UK Ltd

6. How would you persuade more females to pursue a career in engineering?

I promote apprenticeships at careers events in which two of the new females apprentices who joined this year are a result of me speaking to them at these careers events. I think it is vital for students to see the female apprentices promoting apprenticeships themselves.

Females are not often promoted within applying for engineering, which means they may be discouraged to do so. 50% of apprentices at MBDA are female, so you can ensure that there is no problem with females working in a manufacturing environment.

7. What are your aims for the duration of your apprenticeship?

I aim to achieve a first class honours in my Business Management BA (Hons) degree and I aim to achieve excellent reviews and feedback for all my placements. I also wish to make a real difference and large contribution to the business.

I constantly ask for more opportunities to learn which is my main aim, as I recognise that I am the future of the business and need to ensure I am in shape for this. At MBDA we have experienced workforce and many of our systems have a 30 lifecycle so there this is extreme challenge in terms of demographics. I need to ensure I contribute to this meaningfully and ensure that logistics and business knowledge from the skilled retiring workforce is transferred to myself to ensure vital skills are not lost.

8. What advice would you offer young people seeking an apprenticeship?

If anyone is considering doing an apprenticeship, I would definitely recommend it. Gaining work experience is a fantastic opportunity that not many young people are able to experience.




The 5% Club Case Study: Mohammed Rehman

This week’s case study focuses on apprentice technician Mohammed Rehman of Atkins. Mohammed joined Atkins as an apprentice technician in August 2013 after completing his A-Levels. Read on to learn more about Mohammed’s day to day role at Atkins…

Atkins case study Mohammed RehmanName: Mohammed Rehman

Role: Apprentice technician

Date Joined: August 2013

I may not have been with Atkins long, but I know I made the right choice to start my career here. I joined in August 2013 as an apprentice technician in the Birmingham office. Before that I had just completed my A-levels in maths, chemistry and biology. Trying to find your feet after A-levels these days is daunting; at first I didn’t know what path to choose – whether to go to university or to jump headfirst into a job. Then someone recommended that I consider apprenticeships, so I began to research the National Apprentice Scheme and found out about Atkins.

My apprenticeship scheme is for two years and I’m currently in the transportation drainage team within Land & Development. From day one it’s been hands-on; I’ve had a steady flow of both admin and project-based work on a range of projects, including East-West Rail, Cadley Hill and Wadi Al Buhair in Bahrain – all in just one month! It’s exciting to be working on real-life projects and learning in such a dynamic environment.

I’ve been mentored from my very first day by a colleague who’s done all he can to make sure I learn the ropes. With more new tasks to get stuck into every day, it’s been so reassuring to have someone on hand to offer advice, take me through the technical systems and help me build my skills base. My line manager has also set out year-one objectives with me so I have clear targets to strive for.

The hands-on nature of my apprenticeship is really stimulating, giving me the chance to apply my existing knowledge and learn on the job. I’m particularly enjoying developing my AutoCAD design skills on live projects. But I’m also able to support this with technical studies – I’m currently working four days a week and spending one day a week studying Level 3 Civil Engineering at Solihull College. It’s the best of both worlds and has allowed me to achieve more than I’d ever expected at the age of 19. Having been so torn between academic studies and the world of work, I’m really grateful to have had the opportunity to combine the two. It’s a great experience – I couldn’t have made a better choice.

‘My Apprenticeship Has Offered Me Opportunities That I Wouldn’t Have Otherwise Had’


MBDA Apprentice Samantha Ball took to the stage during October’s Conservative Party conference to discuss her experience of a being a logistics apprentice at the defence company and to promote apprenticeships as a viable alternative to full-time education.

Samantha is currently in her final year of a four year MBDA apprenticeship and has worked across various departments of the company on rotating placements.

She said: “My apprenticeship has offered me many opportunities that I wouldn’t otherwise have had. Being an apprentice and earning means I can have a good social life, run a car and save for a house deposit all at the age of 21.

“I am so appreciative of the opportunities and lifestyle that earning and learning has given me. My experience highlights the naivety around apprenticeships. It is so important that young people are made aware of all of the different options”.

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Seen & Heard: This Week in The 5% Club

Yesterday’s Autumn Statement is the primary talking point of the week, with the announcement by Chancellor George Osborne that apprenticeships are to be given a £40m boost with the aim of producing a further 20,000 higher apprentices over the next two years.

Ben Griffiths referenced The 5% Club in yesterday’s autumn statement round-up in the Daily Mail:

The 5% Club Autumn Statement

“The move is backed by The 5% Club… the group wants 5pc of the workforce in apprenticeships by 2015.”

Away from the Autumn Statement and moving on to more success stories from our members, QinetiQ’s Lauren Hill was named Most Inspirational Apprentice at the Stemnet Awards 2013 last week.

Lauren, an apprentice at the QinetiQ Apprentice Training School at MOD Boscombe Down, was rewarded for ‘her commitment, enthusiasm, dedication and natural ability to communicate her excitement about working as an apprentice’.

“Winning the STEMNET Award for Most Inspirational Apprentice was fantastic, and a great surprise!”

As part of her win, Lauren has received a trip to CERN in Geneva – home of the Large Hadron Collider – provided by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

To cap off another eventful week at The 5% Club, we are delighted to welcome the latest company to sign the Club charter- Seaway Powell Marine, a leading figure from within the marine industry.

Stay tuned for more partner updates next week. Follow us on Twitter for all the latest from The 5% Club

The 5% Club Case Study: Tom Wheatley

In the latest in the series of The 5% Club case studies, we take a look at Tom Wheatley, a third year QinetiQ  aeronautical apprentice at MOD Boscombe Down. Find out more about Tom’s daily role, plus his thoughts on The 5% Club.

Tom Wheatley The 5% ClubBefore I embarked on my apprenticeship at QinetiQ, I did A-Levels with the aim of being a landscape designer.  I decided to take time out of education and worked for a year but realised gardening wasn’t for me.

After looking at various options, what I knew I didn’t want to do was to go to university. I learn practically and, although Uni is right for some careers, apprenticeships are great for practical learners like me. So the path that I decided to go down was to train as an apprentice with a view to entering the engineering industry, developing valuable skills whilst learning ‘on the job’. Despite strong competition, I was fortunate enough to enrol at the QinetiQ Apprentice Training School at MOD Boscombe Down, and I can safely say that I haven’t looked back since.

My dad was a one-time apprentice and his experiences helped me to understand what an apprenticeship entailed and the opportunities that it could hand me.

What I really like about the QinetiQ apprenticeship scheme is the sheer versatility of the programme. Upon enrolling, my initial ambition was to train to become an aircraft engineer. However, the breadth of learning here and the proximity you have to different areas of the company has meant that my career path has changed.

At QinetiQ, you can really carve out your own career without being pigeonholed, whilst still developing a wide set of skills that are transferrable. The company allows you to target your own goals, and they provide you with all the support and rewards you need.

Another aspect of the apprenticeship that I have really benefited from is the opportunity to work within the company itself, amongst experienced QinetiQ staff. Working alongside my future colleagues has enabled me to earn their respect and it represents a great practical experience too.

Throughout my apprenticeship at QinetiQ, I have worked in a calm and unpressurised environment that has allowed me to refine and develop various skills, ready for real-world situations. There is a newly refurbished aircraft hangar at MOD Boscombe Down which now forms part of the QinetiQ Apprentice Training School, and will be a hugely important aspect of our practical education.

The hangar now gives students much more space and provides us with the right equipment to develop skills, including de-commissioned aircraft that will be used for practical lessons.

There are two rotary-aircraft within the hangar: a Lynx and a Gazelle helicopter, as well as a fixed-wing Bulldog aircraft, aircraft engines and components. My fellow apprentices and myself are going to gain vast experience working on these  and by learning ‘live’ in this environment, we are getting a head start on others who enter the industry as undergraduates.

Tom’s thoughts on The 5% Club:

The 5% Club is a very positive and important initiative. Apprenticeships are a rather unknown entity amongst school leavers and that is something that I feel must change.

Young people are often presented with just two choices when leaving school; start working with no training, or go to university. Apprenticeships have until recently been seen as an unattractive ‘other’ route, and aren’t fully understood by school leavers.  From my own experience, apprenticeships are a comparable option to University and a fantastic way to get into the work place. They can increase chances of employment, whilst also being paid at the same time – that is something that a university course cannot compete with.

If the 5% Club can increase awareness of apprenticeships schemes as well as inspire other companies to provide further opportunities for those who wish to get their foot on the careers ladder, then it could have a massive impact on my generation.


The 5% Club Case Study: Natasha Pitts

Dale Power Solutions‘ Higher Apprentice, Natasha Pitts, was honoured at the National Apprenticeship Awards last week, taking home the Highly Commended award in recognition for her exceptional work as a higher apprentice.Natasha Pitts The 5% Club

Natasha has worked at Dale Power Solutions since September 2010 on an Advanced Apprenticeship in electrical and electronic engineering. She completed her Advanced Apprenticeship 2 years early and progressed onto a Higher Apprenticeship.

Natasha’s Apprenticeship has helped her to become a valued team member and is seen as a star of the future and a role model to all apprentices. She has helped to develop training equipment for Dale Power Solutions training partner (Derwent Training) to enhance the learning experience of other apprentices.

Natasha is very passionate about engineering and science and is very proud to promote engineering and the power of apprenticeships in local schools through her role as a STEM ambassador and encourages young people into stimulating, rewarding and enjoyable careers through an apprenticeship.

On receiving her Highly Commended award, Natasha said: “I am very proud to have achieved the highly commended award at the national apprenticeship awards finals in Birmingham. It is both a privilege and an honour to achieve such an award, to be in the top 3 in the country is a fantastic achievement and one that I could have only dreamt of when I joined Dale 3 years ago as an advanced apprentice.”

Tim Wilkins, Chief Executive of Dale Power Solutions, said: “Natasha is a fantastic example of the contribution apprentices have made to our business and how they become part of the future of our business and an integral part of Dale Power Solutions team.”

Seen & Heard: This week in The 5% Club

Coverage in the Telegraph, a new member announcement and representation at the European Employment Forum in Belgium: Its been a busy week for The 5% Club…

QinetiQ chief executive Leo Quinn advocated the use of apprentices, sponsored students and graduates in order to create ‘employability and employment’ in the Telegraph on Friday.

Quinn emphasised Britain’s pedigree for engineering and innovation, describing the country as a ‘byword for invention’:

“On their shoulders a small island stood tall, ranged far and built many wonders of the modern world.”

However, Quinn urged the nation to address chronic skills-shortages in order to generate industrial growth:

Young people are the very resource critical to our future ability to grow and compete globally, to revive Britain’s engineering reputation. For us as industrialists, developing our young people is a straightforward business imperative: as parents and citizens, it is also a moral one.

Leo Quinn also took part in an engineering Q&A for the Telegraph on Friday. Quinn described engineering as one of the ‘great traditions of Great Britain’.

Innovation still drives our world and engineering gives an amazing opportunity to be part of mankind’s ongoing advances.

Tomorrow, QinetiQ’s Head of Sustainability Sam Healy will be part of a panel that discusses Youth Unemployment at a Conference in Belgium. Keep an eye on @5PercentClubUK for the latest talking points from the discussion.

We are proud to announce that Natasha Pitts, an apprentice from The 5% Club member Dale Power Solutions, has been named as one of three Higher Apprentices of the Year at the National Apprenticeship Awards. Natasha has also been shortlisted by STEMNET for the Most Inspirational Apprentice award, which will take place later this month. We wish her the best of luck!

Lastly, we are delighted to announce a new member to The 5% Club. Engineering consultancy Clark Eriksson have pledged their support to the Club’s cause and have adopted the 5% employment target for graduates, apprentices and sponsored students within their organisation.

Stay tuned for more member updates from The 5% Club this week.