Nick Lacey, engineering apprentice at Burton’s Biscuit Company has been named The Manufacturer’s employee of the month July/August 2015.
What is your role and what are your main responsibilities?
At the moment my role is an engineering apprentice but once I’ve gone through the programme, I will be fully qualified as a multi-skilled engineer – mechanical and electrical.
I am now in the second year of my apprenticeship and spend four days at work and one day at college each week. For the first year of my apprenticeship I was in college full-time and would spend college holidays at work.
While at college, I completed a level 3 NVQ in Engineering designed to give me all the basic skills I would require at work.
During my first year, while I was at work, I was given basic engineering tasks and mainly worked with other engineers and electricians.
Now that I am at work more often and my skills are developing, I am completing more moderate engineering jobs on my own with other engineers checking my work.
What are the key technical skills you use?
Most of the work that I complete is with a tool in my hand. It is important, within any engineering discipline, to have good hand working skills and a good understanding of the tools that you use.
One thing I quickly realised about manufacturing is that it’s impossible to prepare for every eventuality, especially during breakdowns, so I’ve become expert in improvising if need be.
What personal characteristics help you in your role?
This ties in closely with being able to get on well with all the other engineers and I enjoy the camaraderie that these bigger tasks offer.
It is also important to have a confident nature. If I am called to a breakdown, I must be sure that the decisions I will make will be right.
What do you consider to be your biggest personal success at the company so far?
I would have to say that winning the Training 2000 award. Hopefully I will be able to top this award in the near future.
What are the most rewarding parts of your job?
In maintenance engineering, you are faced with challenges every working day. I find that the most rewarding part of my job is the quick thinking needed to face these challenges head on.
Burton’s has recently made a massive investment in its manufacturing sites, so it’s also great to be part of implementing the improvements being made, and see the factory evolve.
Do you have a grand career ambition?
At the end of July I will have completed my ONC qualification, which is my first major milestone. It feels like two minutes ago I started with Burton’s and I can’t believe I have been working there for nearly two years.
In the near future, I am looking forward to starting my HNC qualification and hopefully progressing through that with no problems. I’m taking each step of my career as it comes and making sure that I focus on the qualifications I’m studying for before thinking too big.