Jessica Tozer was drawn to apprenticeships after failing her A levels at sixth form. After loving a BTEC course in mechatronic engineering, she applied to apprenticeship vacancies. She was accepted for an apprenticeship with Avery Weigh-Tronix, training at the EEF Technology Training Centre in Birmingham.
Here, Jessica thrived, as she learned that manufacturing was the career for her – combining skills that require ‘hands and head’. In fact, her employer nominated her for an EEF Future Manufacturing Award and, at the awards gala in 2016, she was named the Wales Runner Up as a Final Year Apprentice.
Jessica’s apprenticeship and the award were a stepping stone to a great career and amazing opportunities. Here’s her story…
Since completing your apprenticeship last year, what are you doing today?
After completing my apprenticeship, I had achieved my NVQ, BTEC and HND qualifications. I continued to work at Avery (one of the world’s largest manufacturers of industrial weighing equipment), where I got my foot in the door as an Apprentice Field Service Technician. Now, I’m a Service Support Officer, working alongside the Technical Manager for my region. I visit customers, quote for new equipment and repairs and help plan long term projects.
"Definitely apply for the awards! It’s a brilliant thing. It opens up a lot of doors in terms of networking and other opportunities."
What was it like winning a Future Manufacturing Apprentice Award?
It was really good. It was amazing to have an award that recognised that my hard work and effort had been noticed. It was also great to show my family and friends how far I’d gone and what my colleagues thought of it.
The ceremony was really nice – a good atmosphere and I got to talk to other apprentices who had gone through the same experiences. After the ceremony, I celebrated with the other winners.
What kind of recognition did you get from the award win? What opportunities did it open for you?
The company has a newsletter that goes out to all the employees, and they included a news item in it about my award. It was also up on our company site, which is great exposure for me.
Now I’m a judge for the apprentice category for the awards, which is a good opportunity for me and one I’m looking forward to. I personally know how beneficial it is to have on my CV going forward as it tangibly shows the work you’ve put in and that someone else has recognised it.
And I’ve been invited to speak at the Houses of Parliament in July about my experience as an apprentice, which is quite exciting!
What would you say to a company or apprentice thinking of entering in the apprentice categories?
Definitely apply for it! It’s a brilliant thing. It opens up a lot of doors in terms of networking and other opportunities.
Plus, it’s good for the industry as it helps apprenticeships and manufacturing get more recognition in the press and with the public.
The EEF Future Manufacturing Awards 2017 are open for entries until 17 July. Apply now.