Apprenticeships go from Strength to Strength.
It is now five years since we began our Apprenticeship Scheme here at Ben Johnson Technology.
Back in 2012 we welcomed Pete Boden, our very first Apprentice Service Technician to the organisation, and after a strong start Pete is now a fully qualified engineer and a vital member of Technical Services team. In fact, Pete’s time as apprentice was so successful that we have since welcomed two further members of staff under the scheme; Marcin Duczynski (pictured above) and Ben Senior whom Pete now mentors and trains. Here we catch up with Pete on his five-year anniversary with the business, and get his views on the Scheme as a whole.
What were your first impressions of the company and how have they changed?
I was nervous to begin with as I was still young and I was unsure what to expect. Within a very short amount of time, the family feel of the company became evident.
Our Technology division has seen huge growth since I started back in 2012; we’re taking on much bigger contracts which is great experience for me and the rest of the team, we’ve doubled in size over the last five years whilst maintaining our exceptionally high levels of service.
What was it like being the first apprentice, and how does it feel to be followed by two new apprentices; Marcin and Ben?
I feel honoured to have been the first apprentice. It demonstrates a willingness to invest and trust in young people without having had any previous experience with the Scheme; a bold step in my opinion! Being succeeded by two further apprentices shows that the company viewed my time as apprentice positively, and that apprenticeships are a great route into full-time employment for other young people too.
I have spent a lot of time with Marcin, both in training and on installations over the last two years. As his experience grows I’m not needed as much, but he does still shadow me on jobs where he is perhaps less familiar with a machine. Our third apprentice, Ben, has been with us around a month now and I expect to be spending more time mentoring and training him over the coming months.
What is your perspective on the value of apprenticeships?
Everyone is different in terms of the skills they naturally possess and apprenticeships give young people the option to choose the path that best suits them. Apprenticeships give exposure to job roles in companies that would otherwise be out of reach for them due to lack of work experience. They also allow a company to mould an individual into what their business needs. It’s a win-win situation.
Would you recommend the apprenticeship route to other young people?
I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship. I appreciate it’s not the right route for everyone but there seems to be a heavy emphasis on going into higher education. I think young people need to have more information about alternative options and apprenticeships to allow them to make a more informed decision.
Are you glad you went down the vocational route rather than an academic one?
I had the option to do both but I felt like I was ready to enter the working world. I am definitely a ‘work to live’ kind of person. Although I will commit fully to any job, I also feel the need to fill my time outside of work with the things I enjoy. The ability to earn as well as learning suited me perfectly and gives me a great work-life balance.
Given that your role is so specialist, what transferable skills have you learnt that make you more ‘employable’, and that you may not have learnt in academia?
Other than the specialist qualifications I have gained, the maintenance and technical diagnosis skills I now have make me very employable within the industry. Having to interact with customers – many of whom are very senior within their businesses – has given me a degree of confidence and professionalism that I wouldn’t have gained otherwise.
We can’t wait to see where Pete is in another five years, it’s been great to see him progress and we’re delighted he values working at Ben Johnson as much as we value him!
For more information on working for Ben Johnson, or to explore an apprenticeship with us please contact Alix Hobbs.