I started as an engineering apprentice
12 Oct 2010
Andy Walker explains how an engineering apprenticeship has given his career a head start
What do you do?
I'm the competence development manager for Volvo Truck and Bus in the UK and Ireland, responsible for ensuring our 3,000 employees have the necessary competence to provide a level of service that impresses our customers and motivates themselves.
Why did you choose an engineering apprenticeship?
My apprenticeship with Leyland Motors (which later became British Leyland and then was bought by Volvo) offered a trade, further education and good prospects for promotion. I was 'bitten by a bug' for working with heavy vehicles, and loved being trained and mentored.
What opportunities did your apprenticeship open up for you?
After the company ownership transferred to Volvo, I became training manager in UK and Europe, which led to managing commercial training and to my current role.
What have been the highlights since you started your apprenticeship?
I trained almost all of the UK bus industry technicians over a four-year period. My roles have included international travel and I've attained a Master of Science degree in HRD. And I now have the privilege of helping young people create a bright future for themselves with a Volvo Truck and Bus apprenticeship.
What's been your biggest challenge?
Taking on extra responsibility whilst sometimes being discouraged by peers, and making the right decisions when presented with numerous opportunities.
Why is an engineering apprenticeship a good career choice?
The potential to work your way up the career ladder is unlocked through a successful apprenticeship.
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