Interview with Stefan Kousoulas, Apprentice at the International Manufacturing Centre, WMG
Describe the type of work you've been doing...
I shadow colleagues and complete my own set jobs with the aim of learning skills to support all technical aspects of WMG.
Why did you become an apprentice?
Whilst I like learning, after starting 6th form I realised it wasn’t for me. Engineering has always been my goal and after speaking to friends I decided an apprenticeship would allow me to learn in a practical environment.
Why did you choose the University of Warwick?
When I started to look into apprenticeship schemes I realised how many opportunities Warwick could offer me. WMG has many ties with industries and their apprenticeship programme would allow me to become exposed to many engineering disciplines. All this combined made the Warwick apprenticeship programme stand out for me.
What was the highlight of the apprenticeship?
The amount of skills and knowledge I have learnt in the 12 months I have been here.
Tell us about your plans for the future...
I would like to become a chartered engineer and carry on working for WMG.
What would you say to someone who was considering joining an apprenticeship?
Think about it. You need to be motivated and be prepared to put the effort in but if it’s the area you are interested in working in and you like a practical approach to learning, definitely consider an apprenticeship.
Interview with Paul Johnson, WMG
How has your experience of managing an apprentice been?
As a manager who was once an apprentice myself, I aim to ensure that the apprentices learn everything they can. Experience has proven that it’s important to select the right young people for the apprenticeship programme, in order that both the apprentice and WMG benefit. They need to be motivated and practically minded and it’s my role to continue to motivate and encourage them throughout their learning. I do feel a duty of care in particular when line managing young people as it’s not just the technical aspects of the role but the way in which they represent WMG as they learn.
What are the benefits of having an apprentice within your team?
Whilst an apprentice can’t act as a full member of the team, you have the opportunity as their manager to tailor their learning to ensure their skill set supports the team. WMG offer a multi-disciplined training plan to give apprentices a broad range of skills and knowledge which meets the future demands industries will expect. As our skilled workforce retire, we need to ensure their knowledge and skills are passed on to young people – our apprenticeship programme allows this to happen.