My name is Charlie and I am responsible for the delivery and quality of Craft and Technician apprenticeships against National and Business standards.
I started as an apprentice with Yarrow Shipbuilders in August 26th 1972, and I have worked in shipbuilding for 46 years, after 26 years as a Welder/Fabricator and a Trainer I was encouraged by my manager to apply for a role in apprentice training he suggested that he thought I was suited to that type of role as he had noticed the work I did training apprentices on the shop floor, so I applied 20 years ago and the story goes on!
I was recently awarded Apprentice Instructor of the Year and I was very humble and embarrassed to be honest about winning it! This isn’t just about me it’s about all the people who support me in trying to do the best job and provide the business with the best apprentices and programme to fit the business and individual needs, there is a lot of fantastic people in this business who contribute to the apprenticeship programmes and without that support we would struggle to have the recognised programmes we have at BAE Systems.
I've been involved in training over 1200 apprentices - BAE Systems is a unique place to do an apprenticeship. The history, the people, the training and support available is second to none.
A typical day is about engaging with the team and stakeholder and meeting with them to seeing how we can or need to improve the programme to meet the needs of the apprentices on the programme and skills needed for the business to meet the demand of the customer. The challenge is keeping up with technology, we won’t work the same way we did to 20 years ago it will be a lot different in the next 5 years never mind 20 years, unfortunately qualifications don’t change as quickly as those 2 key factors. My reward is the quality and recognition of the calibre of the apprentices and the programme.
Shipbuilding has a great history here on the Clyde and I am proud to be part of and be working with BAE System adding to that history. What I enjoy most is working at BAE Systems is the people I work with and come into contact with, they are so passionate about what they do. I am proud when apprentices complete their programmes or achieve awards as I know how hard people work in completing and supporting the journey.
If you were to give advice about applying for an apprenticeship, I’d say to put every effort into doing your best in improving your skills and knowledge every day, that way you will have contributed to something special (you) in this great opportunity you have. Always try your best in everything you do, you might never succeed at everything but you should never stop trying.
BAE Systems is a unique place to do an apprenticeship. The history, the people, the training and support available is second to none.