Hannah Parker, Head of Technical Services, Ashton & Moore Ltd
Hannah Parker trained as an engineering apprentice at EEF’s Technology Training Centre from 2009-2012. Since starting at Ashton & Moore Ltd. as an apprentice, Hannah progressed to become Head of Technical Services.
What is your job today like?
I work for a metal finishing company that supplies finished and painted parts primarily to the aerospace and military sectors, including companies like Rolls Royce. I ensure that the products we produce meet the customer specifications as well as ensure everyone in house has a technical understanding of our processes.
I also work on the environmental side, which includes dealing with legislation, risk assessments and waste disposal for the chemicals we work with.
How did you get into manufacturing?
I started almost seven years ago here, after I applied for a position as an apprentice training with EEF. What drew me to the company as an apprentice was that it was part of the aerospace industry supply chain. Airplanes and space were almost something that interested me.
What do you like about working in manufacturing?
I like the hands-on work and the whole engineering side. I’ve always been interested in that sort of thing since school.
Also, manufacturing is very friendly. Our company is fairly small, so you can feel comfortable talking to anyone, including the directors.
How did you end up pursuing an apprenticeship?
When I was presented with career and education options in my last year of school, I wasn’t told about apprenticeships. If you had high grades, they automatically said you should go to college or university. So I ended up doing a year of A-levels, which I didn’t enjoy.
My mom mentioned that one of her friends had a daughter who did an apprenticeship with EEF, so that’s how I first heard about that option.
I found the training really interesting, and it covered everything from fitting to digital to benchwork. I was able to learn a lot about myself and the different manufacturing routes I didn’t know anything about.
How could a potential apprentice find their perfect match in an employer?
They should think about where their interests lie, and investigate on the internet about what’s available. There are lots of career paths that I didn’t know existed when I was in school.
It’s a win-win situation where you can earn while you learn so you get qualifications without the university debt.
Doing an apprenticeship has worked out so well for me.