Engineering Apprentice Ashleigh Sumner
Ashleigh Sumner, is an engineering apprentice with the Siemens. Based at their factory in Congleton, Cheshire, she’s working towards a BTEC Level 3 and is currently in their Research and Development department.
Tell us about your engineering apprenticeship
“The apprenticeship programme involves a four-year ‘rotation’ of the Siemens business. That means I get to try out lots of different roles in the company, while attending college one or two days a week. I also get the chance to work with local schools to develop and promote STEM subjects – that’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – which is really fun too. “I work in the research and development department (or ‘R&D’ as its known). I don’t have a specific role in the department as I’m still in my first year – instead I move around the factory on rotation, trying out different roles.
“Right now I’m on a placement on the shop floor, learning about the processes that take place in order to build Siemens products. I’m also learning the skills and techniques needed to complete the everyday tasks required when working on the shop floor.”
What are the best bits about the apprenticeship?
“Getting to increase my academic knowledge while getting paid! In fact there are loads of benefits of doing an apprenticeship at Siemens. I love the fact that I spend two days a week learning the knowledge I need to become an engineer. Then I spend the rest of the week putting it into action, applying that knowledge to the tasks and activities that I’m set at Siemens. “Plus I get to experience all areas of the business. That means that instead of being pushed into just one area, I’ve got a great understanding of the whole company, the process and the procedures they use.”
What are the people like at Siemens?
“The culture at Siemens is like one big family. Everyone is so welcoming, friendly and willing to help, which is great when you’re a newcomer as otherwise it could have been intimidating. But it wasn’t at all! “Also, the rotation of placements is brilliant as you’re constantly meeting new people and building relationships – so I’ve been able to develop my personal skills too.”
What A-levels did you study?
“Before I started my apprenticeship I was doing A-levels in maths, physics and product design. When everyone started writing personal statements and talking about going to uni I knew I wanted to do something different – so I started looking at apprenticeships.”
What skills do you need to make a good Siemens apprentice?
“If you enjoy engineering activities and subjects like maths and physics – plus you love doing ‘hands-on’ tasks – then you’re doing well already! At Siemens they love it if you show plenty of drive and ambition in everything you’re asked to do. Do that and you’ll definitely succeed.”
What are your future plans?
“I want to go as far as I can go with my education and hopefully reach my goal of becoming a Chartered Engineer. Siemens have been very supportive. I would definitely recommend my apprenticeship. I think they are the way forward.”More Experiences
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