Grey Star

Apprentice lands job at international engineering firm

A young worker at an international engineering firm based in the West Midlands has told how his successful apprenticeship helped him to secure a full-time job.

Tom Williams, now aged 22, joined Austrian-owned Voestalpine High Performance Metals in 2019 on a programme with The Apprenticeship Works, part of the BCTG Group.

Voestalpine, based in Oldbury, is the UK’s market leader in speciality steels, tube and piping products, and for services such as machining, milling, testing and additive manufacturing.

Tom, from Stourbridge, explained how he became a purchasing and sales administrator at the firm in October 2021 after completing a Level 2 Customer Service apprenticeship.

He said: “I left sixth form in 2019 and started the apprenticeship in the October, with no workplace experience at all.

“The apprenticeship was very beneficial because as well as gaining qualifications and getting paid for it, I developed transferrable skills like communications and teamwork.

“Getting an apprenticeship was very difficult with limited experience, so your best chance is making sure your CV is as detailed as possible, even including one-week work experiences.

“Also make sure you apply to as many as possible and, when you get interviews, research thoroughly and bring questions with you on a piece of paper as that can really help.

“It took me seven interviews to get my Voestalpine apprenticeship, so if you don’t get the first one you apply for don’t worry – use the experience positively and eventually someone will give you an opportunity.”

Tom went on to explain how an apprenticeship can create a “massive advantage” of two or three years working experience, something most university graduates don’t have.

He added: “I found everyone I worked with, from Bev Morris at The Apprenticeship Works to my line manager Simon Riley at Voestalpine, to be excellent.

“They allowed me to push myself to the best of my ability whilst also being genuine and friendly people, which means going to work is not something I dread.

“The Apprenticeship Works’ help to get through the last end-point assessment was also very good because it was quite daunting, but with the right support I passed at the first attempt.

Voestalpine has been sourcing apprentices for a range of roles for more than ten years from The Apprenticeship Works.

Simon Riley, divisional manager at Voestalpine, said: “Working with The Apprenticeship Works has resulted in a number of successful apprentices who have started their journey small and grown within their role, often being promoted and continuing their development with us.”

Bev Morris, business development officer at The Apprenticeship Works, based in West Bromwich, said: “Voestalpine is a fantastic host employer as the company not only has young people go through apprenticeships with them but often takes them on permanently.

“It just shows how, with the right, mentoring and support, Voestalpine offers progression and a foundation for secure career paths.”

Bctg Taw Tom Williams At Voestalpine