I was one of the first two girls ever to join the Interior Surface Centre as an apprentice. I was just 16 and couldn’t drive, so my dad had to get me into work for a 6.00 am start. He and I were both very happy when I joined the company’s Lift Share scheme!
During my three years I learned every process in making the veneer sets for our cars – sanding, milling, lacquering, polishing and assembling – and also studied Furniture Making & Design at college one day a week. It was structured so I did placements in all the areas of the department. As well as learning the job, I got to know all the people and build relationships, which has really helped me to grow and do well.
I spent the final six months of my apprenticeship in Metrology – the first Interior Surface Centre Apprentice to do that – and now, three years later, I’m working here full-time. My role involves measuring parts, solving and preventing problems, making quality checks and doing project work for new models, at tolerances of less than half a millimetre.
It’s a big jump from an educational setting and a bit daunting, but once you get through the first week, you’re fine. You get support from your mentors in HR, in your department and at college; you all meet up once a term or so to see how you’re getting on and set targets. Plus, you can always ask the process leaders and other people around you for help.
Apprenticeships are a fantastic way to get into a great job and get trained up, with no debt; looking back, I wouldn’t do anything differently.
Metrology Apprentice, Rolls-Royce, Goodwood.