Having come into an Apprenticeship from an academic background, eighteen-year old Ashleigh Sumner has revelled in a variety of roles at Siemens’ factory in Congleton, where her experiences are varied and she has been on an impressive learning curve!

“Prior to becoming an apprentice with Siemens, I was studying my A-Levels, in Maths, Physics and Product Design and when it came to the time where everyone started writing their personal statements for university, I was looking at alternative routes, such as apprenticeships.

“After a lot of research and Open Days, I knew this was the right route for me – there are so many benefits to being an apprentice, including getting paid to learn at work but also being able to spend a few days a week at college, studying for BTEC Level 3 and Level 4.

“Within my role, I am currently on a placement on the shop floor, where I am learning all about the products – and the processes that take place in order to build them. At Siemens, there are so many different areas I have spent time learning the necessary skills and techniques, the variety has been great.

“Initially, my placement involved assisting the line feeder – supplying components to operators so they can build the boards used to power the products we make. This role is significant in making sure the operator never runs out of components, which would potentially halt the building process, wasting valuable time and money.

“Throughout the range of tasks I have been involved in as an apprentice, I have developed knowledge not only of the individual roles, but of the business as a whole and the products manufactured here, while also increasing my own skills. This will enable me to eventually lead tours of the factory and help others understand the processes taking place.

“I believe Apprenticeships really are the way forward. From the apprentice’s point of view, you are given some great opportunities to learn, train and experience such a broad variety of areas. As well as working with local schoolchildren at events in the community, I have appeared at career events and unveiling new products, which is great recognition within a great company!”