HMK Automation is backing this year’s National Apprenticeship Week by sharing success stories from our own apprenticeship programme.
This week is National Apprenticeship Week, which runs from February 8-14, and the theme for this year’s event is ‘Build The Future’ which encourages people to consider how apprenticeships can help young people to develop the skills and knowledge required for a rewarding career' and employers to build a workforce with future-ready skills.
We’re strong advocates of apprenticeships and run a successful apprenticeship scheme in a range of disciplines across the business, offering the chance for young people to earn while their learning.
Luke Johnson, 19, is our Business Administration Apprentice who is currently studying for a Level 3 qualification in Business Management in conjunction with Macclesfield College.
Luke joined HMK in 2019 after realising college wasn’t for him.
Luke said: “I did go to college for a year, but I realised I just didn’t learn in the way I thought I would do, so I decided an apprenticeship would be a better option for me. I’d always liked the idea of learning on the job and enjoy the feeling of contributing towards something.
“The way HMK run the apprenticeship programme is really great – I get a lot of support and a good balance of time to get my college work done too."
Luke is supported by his manager Jenny Johnson, who herself started out as an HMK apprentice when she was just 17, working her way through the ranks and taking advantage of every development and training opportunity that’s come her way.
Like Luke, Jenny joined the company as a Business Administration Apprentice. Now 14 years on she’s our Internal Sales Team Leader looking after our customer orders, processing, invoices and after-sales enquiries.
Jenny added: “Luke is starting out just like I did, so it’s great for me to now be able to pass my knowledge and experience down to him and help him develop his own career.
“When I started my apprenticeship, years ago, I found what I was being taught at college was ok but when I related it to the workplace, I could understand the theories and application a lot better – plus you get paid while you’re learning too.
“I can highly recommend the apprenticeship route as it gives you the opportunity to gain actual experience you can easily relate to alongside an educational course.”
Gary Kitchin, Managing Director at HMK Automation, added: “Here at HMK, we really believe in the value of apprenticeships, which have huge benefits for both the apprentices and the organisations they’re working with. Young people can gain valuable skills, experience and qualifications while still taking home a wage, while it enables businesses to build their future workforce.
“We’re really proud of our apprenticeship and training scheme and Luke and Jenny are great examples of the importance of investing in the workforce and supporting employees to grow and develop.”