“After my GCSEs I was pretty set on sixth form to be honest, but I felt like I was getting swept along with other students, rather than what I wanted to do”, explains third year Alpha Manufacturing Apprentice, Dan Gill.  “All my mates were choosing A ‘Levels and I really wanted to get away from the classroom and start earning a living.  The opportunity to get paid to learn really appealed to me so joining an Apprenticeship seemed like the perfect option.”

After finishing his GSCSEs Dan visited a few firms to look at their Apprenticeship Scheme and weighed up all his options, as he explains: “I looked at a few Schemes and immediately dismissed any Scheme that was too classroom-based.  I wanted a Scheme that would feel like hands-on work, accepting that I’d also have a lot to learn.  When I visited Alpha, I was completely overwhelmed by the world-class machinery and automation of the entire manufacturing process.  My dad’s an engineer and I’ve always been fascinated by anything with moving parts – even watches fascinate me, so Alpha completely bowled me over.  Another factor that swayed me was meeting our Apprenticeship Manager, Will Davies-Hill, he’s nothing like a teacher but is a really strong mentor and I felt immediately that Alpha was exactly what I was looking for.”

Now in his third year and reflecting on year one and two of the Apprenticeship Scheme, Dan is keen to tell other students considering an Apprenticeship that the Bri-Stor Group approach is way beyond the ‘school’ approach, as he continues: “I looked at the prospectus for Bri-Stor Group and I had many questions about year one at The JCB Academy, to be honest I still had some reservations on day one, but all those were set aside after the first few hours! The teaching is so engaging and it’s so hands-on, it feels like the best DT lesson you’ve ever had, and then you come back into the business and apply all that learning to the real-world, it’s so rewarding.”

Dan is an exemplary Apprentice and has shown grit and determination to succeed from the get-go, with a promising career in Alpha Manufacturing ahead of him, Dan is keen to continue with his education and balance a career, he says: “I love the maintenance rotation and the quality department is pretty cool, I’m learning all the time and because we’re getting such a well-rounded introduction to Alpha Manufacturing it’ll make it much easier to choose my eventual career path.”

Would you recommend the Alpha Manufacturing Apprenticeship Scheme?  “If you’re not a fan of the classroom this is the perfect opportunity to really accelerate your career and earn a living at the same time.  I made the perfect choice by coming to Alpha and I know I’ve got a bright future ahead.”

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