Engineer Daren Chesworth, from Wrexham, North Wales, attributes his career success to his apprenticeship – and is encouraging pupils leaving education this summer to consider apprenticeships as a route into a successful career.
As reported by Wales Online, Daren is now maintenance manager at TC Transcontinental, where he is responsible for running the main department and training new apprentices. After finishing his degree apprenticeship in electronic engineering, he is now part-way through his MPhil/PhD in maintenance strategy, managing the maintenance of assets of up to £30 million.
When Daren, now 31, left school he found himself working on the factory floor, carrying out general operator duties. After deciding he wanted to forge an engineering career for himself, he took the bold move and approached his employer about the possibility of undertaking an apprenticeship. Ten years later, he is still paving the way for apprentices at the company.
He hopes his experience will show people receiving their exam results this summer that apprenticeships can be key to a successful career.
Daren said, “While gaining hands-on experience in mechanical and electrical engineering, I’ve been able to rise through the academic ranks. Before my apprenticeship I didn’t consider engineering as a career, but being able to earn while learning was the ideal route to fast-track my career. Now I’m in charge of a whole team and developing the business’ strategy. My leadership skills are improving every day and I’m looking at long-term business plans across the entire site, which is something I never thought I’d be doing when I got the job on the shop floor.
“Since I’ve been promoted, I’ve become a mentor for the apprentices starting their career in my department. This year I’m mentoring one lad who reminds me of myself. I can put myself right back into his shoes and hopefully pass on some helpful experience that will help him forge his own path through his apprenticeship.
“It was up to me to take the lead on my apprenticeship, and I didn’t start mine until I was 21. If I’d started at 16 or 18, I would be even further ahead. If I can do it, anyone can!”