My name’s Laura and I have recently begun a three year apprenticeship with Parafix Tapes & Conversions. To document my experience and progress I will be writing a monthly blog – this is my first!
I’ll begin with a little about myself; I’m 18 years old and have recently completed my studies at the Sir Robert Woodard Academy (SRWA) just down the road from Parafix. After my GCSEs I studied A Level biology, chemistry, maths and music performance. In my spare time I enjoy playing the drums and netball – I’m looking forward to joining a ladies team this month.
In the summer I visited Kenya, volunteering my time to a local school and community. I did lots of home visits taking food, second hand clothes and washing equipment to very poor areas. I taught lessons in the school, helped paint a dining hall and spent time with the children. It was an incredible and humbling experience and I hope to return to Kenya this year.
During my final year at SRWA I was offered a place at Exeter University to study Engineering, but decided to pursue a vocational education instead. I wanted a more ‘hands on’ role rather than all theory. I heard of the Parafix apprenticeship during a meeting I attended at SRWA, in my position as Head Girl. Managing Director of Parafix, Mike Punter was visiting the school to explain about their new Engineering apprenticeship and that he would like to offer it to a local student. He explained a little about Parafix and the apprenticeship to me just as I had began eating a large slice of cake – a little embarrassing!
More details were given to me about the role, I applied, went through the interview process, was successful and here I am!
I will spend four days a week with Parafix and one day a week at Northbrook College for my Level 3 BTEC Mechanical Engineering course that forms part of the apprenticeship. The college course runs for two years and the apprenticeship runs for three years. Once completed, I hope to take on a Supervisory role at Parafix.
During my apprenticeship I will be based in the R&D department, but will spend time in other departments throughout the company to get a well rounded understanding of Parafix, their processes and their customers’ needs. This will include Quality Assurance (QA), Health & Safety (H&S), Production, Purchasing, Estimating, Customer Service, Accounts and Operations.
In my next blog I will provide an update of my progress and the new things I have learnt. I look forward to sharing my experience and hope to show other girls my age that a career in engineering is not just for boys!