ENGINEERING ONLINE NEWS
Joe's a Model Apprentice
Exam students across Coventry and Warwickshire pondering their next move this summer are being invited to take a leaf from Nuneaton apprentice Jo Baker’s book.
Instead of going to sixth form after his GCSEs, Joe gets paid to learn after embarking on a four year modern apprenticeship with Coventry tooling firm Sandvik Hard Materials.
Four years on and the 20 year old from Crowhill, in Nuneaton, has a clutch of impressive engineering qualifications under his belt, as well as a mini 56 plate car thanks to his £220 a week wages.
In a further boost, Sandvik are now paying him to take a robotics degree at Leicester University one day a week as well as paying his wages for the other four back at the factory in Torrington Avenue.
“Apprenticeships are a great route into university because somebody else is picking up the bill and you get paid” said the former Higham Lane School pupil, who earlier this year won £1,000 and a trophy after being named Coventry Apprentice of the Year.
Despite getting 11 GCSEs Joe was desperate to get into the world of work and training and applied for an apprenticeship with MGTS.
“I did not want to go to sixth form” said Joe “I’d had a part time job since I was 15 and I knew that I was ready to hit the adult working world to get hands on experience. Apprenticeships are definitely worth serious consideration, but the person doing it has got to be ready to step up to the working world; you cannot treat it like a school because although you are learning, you are employed at the same time”.
In his first year, Joe, then just 16, earned £150 per week which rose to £220 a week in the fourth year. In that time he has achieved various NVQ, BTEC and HNC certificates in engineering and electronics.
Joe’s boss, engineering manager Tony Musial said “Apprentices play a key part in the company. Even in recession we’re taking apprentices on because they’re absolutely vital to succeed people in key areas”