As an apprentice at the Siemens factory in Congleton, Oliver Nicholls, 20, has been able to pursue a passion for engineering, demonstrating his capabilities and becoming involved across the whole spectrum of the company’s activities.
As we look at his role as a Siemens apprentice, Oliver tells us a little bit more about his position at the company, what led him to the role and why it is difficult to describe a ‘normal’ day!
“As an apprentice at Siemens, there is no normal day! Each day is different, the tasks always change and the challenges are varied. Thanks to Siemens’ flexitime scheme, I am able to begin my work at a convenient time for me, which is a big bonus when avoiding traffic and helps to minimise a lot of work-based stress, but also allows me to be self-disciplined about time-management. I work across a number of departments as an apprentice and the main daily tasks are set depending on my current department, which can mean that no two days are the same.
“My current role involves a placement with the IT support team, which is the first response for the IT functionality of the production process. I have also been first line support for production, aiding the team in replacing and commissioning key production PCs – without this support, production across the factory would stop, so there is quite a significant responsibility!
“This placement has allowed me to gain a wide understanding of the production systems and processes and due to the exposure it has provided across the company, other departments have requested that I complete tasks with them, which has greatly increased the amount of experience I have had.
“Before becoming an apprentice with Siemens, I started a small business restoring classic cars and completing work on lots of different vehicles, including agricultural, industrial and everyday cars. My interest in restoration allowed me to demonstrate my skill set to the interviewers and illustrate my interest in engineering.
“My skills have undoubtedly increased during my time as an apprentice at Siemens Congleton, not just in the factory, or the IT department, but also through involvement in community projects and working with children at events such as ‘Make-It’ – a nationwide initiative that has allowed me to work with schools in promoting engineering to children, improving my presentation skills and personal confidence. Being an apprentice has provided me with so many positive experiences.”