From Apprentice to Service & Support Engineer: Arron’s Story

November 20th, 2017

arron leeman apprentice - unison ltd

Case Study – Arron Leeman shares his journey from apprentice to service and support engineer.

I have been working at Unison for five years. The workforce was quite young which was really appealing. It can be daunting starting a new job as a 16 year old, so knowing from the offset that there were people at Unison I could have good working relationships with really made a difference.

My greatest achievement at Unison has been progressing into the Service & Support Team. I spend most of my time working away from the factory at customer facilities all over the world, from Mexico and America to Russia, Norway and all over the UK.

I could be installing a machine, training staff or carrying out repairs. If I’m back at Unison, I help the rest of the team support customers remotely and handle spares enquiries. The thing I enjoy most about my role is that I’m always doing something different every day. I really enjoy knowing that my day may change at the drop of a hat, for example in order to respond to a customer breakdown.

Unison is a great company to work for, with a real team environment – I am constantly learning and hope to progress further in the company. I have some brilliant working relationships with both colleagues and customers and would highly recommend apprenticeships as a way of starting a ‘hands-on’ career.

I studied History, Sports Studies, Electronics & Art at School. I chose to do an Apprenticeship because I wanted a career that involved a lot of practical work, where I was also able to earn while I qualified. As a child, I really enjoyed playing with Meccano & Lego. I also used to love going to work with my Dad as a car breaker. My parents are supportive of me doing an apprenticeship within the engineering/manufacturing industry. I only received limited careers advice when I was at school, and did most of the research myself.

The advice I wish I had been given when I was at school that would have helped with my career choice is that hard work really does pay off! I’d advise young people to give an apprenticeship a go if they want to get into the engineering/manufacturing industry.

In terms of inspiring the next generation of engineers, I attended Scarborough Engineering Week last year and it was great to meet young people who were interested in the industry and talk to them about what I do.

“Arron Leeman approached Unison in 2013 looking for an apprenticeship placement. He had been recommended to us by York Potash.

As an MTA member, I was aware of the £2,000 apprenticeship grants available to help businesses meet the cost of taking on an apprentice. For an SME they are a fantastic way to ease the pain of employing an apprentice in that unproductive first year and we have used a number of the MTA’s grants and loans over the years to great effect. We employ around 70 people, of which approximately 15% have come through our apprenticeship programme and we are immensely proud of them all!

Arron joined Unison in October 2013 and is now a Service Engineer. His enthusiasm for the company and our product has a very positive impact and is highly valuable when back at base and working at customer facilities.

We now take on 3-6 apprentices per year and having some financial assistance from the MTA really helped to get the programme up and running, especially for those that were uncertain about taking on an apprentice.” Alan Pickering, Managing Director, Unison Ltd.

For more information about MTA please visit their website.


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