9 March, 2017

A new Engineering Apprenticeship opportunity, fresh from M&S

Engineering Training and Planning Manager, Nick, worked as an aircraft technician in the Air Force before joining M&S. Originally Nick came on as a multi-skilled engineer, before progressing to Shift Manager and finally to his current role at our distribution centre in Castle Donington.

In his day-to-day Nick’s job involves leading the maintenance of the hi-tech equipment on-site, as well as managing personnel within the engineering division. Now Nick is getting ready to take on a new role as direct Line Manager for the new Maintenance Engineering Apprenticeship programme. This is no small addition to Nick’s already significant job when you consider the sheer scale of the distribution site.

Castle Donington is a state-of-art logistics hub offering a wide number of roles. Mainly, it’s where we pick and pack customer deliveries that have been ordered online. It’s fully automated, packed with the latest advanced machinery to keep products moving and flowing throughout the site. It’s here that we handle orders from the whole of M&S.com, which total around two million orders a week at peak times.

The Maintenance Engineering Apprenticeship programme was introduced by M&S to provide future engineers with the skills to cope in an ever-changing and developing environment.

“Personally, I am thrilled to be part of looking after M&S’s future. This programme is about preparing people and passing on important lessons to the next generation. The idea behind the programme is to arm Apprentices with the skills to adapt to the needs of our business, and to empower them to further their careers.”

Nick also believes that Apprentices will feel pleasantly surprised by the working culture in the Engineering department.

“It’s a large facility and it’s fast-paced. At first it may feel overwhelming but we’ll be there to support them every step of the way. I think they will love the work environment because it’s positive, it’s safe, it’s friendly and it’s fair.”

The apprenticeship will last for 44 months and Nick believes that in that time Apprentices will be offered plenty of excellent opportunities to grow their skillset and acquire expert knowledge and experience.

“Apprentices will get to visit and spend time at the Toyota training facility which has some of the highest engineering standards in the industry. That’s on top of learning the fundamentals of our business, developing a deeper understanding of our systems and operations, and not least important of all, growing as individuals. At the end of their apprenticeship, they’ll be fully-qualified Maintenance Engineers.”

And for dedicated Apprentices the opportunities don’t end with the programme. They will have plenty of opportunity to progress into other positions in the engineering department, such as Lead Engineer, PLC Controls Engineer or Shift Manager. Even further, there is the possibility to do more training and get an even higher qualification.

Becoming successful within the Engineering division at M&S takes commitment and a keenness to learn. Nick gives a few handy tips for future candidates.

“All you need is to have a positive outlook on life, be driven and serious about your work.”

Find out about the new Maintenance Engineering Apprenticeship programme and other opportunities on offer at Castle Donington here.

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