Haskel’s company culture and people have always been part of what makes this a special place to work and at the core of our success. We have seen skilled engineers, sales, central ops, and support staff help steer development of advanced, sustainable technological innovations that customers know they can rely on.
Many of the business’s leaders started their careers as apprentices. This is why Haskel’s apprentice program has been key to employee and company growth. We caught up with current Haskel apprentice, Amy Chambers, to learn about her role and the future she sees at Haskel.
I’m Amy, I’m 26 and I am currently 2 years into a 5-year apprentice program, working towards a Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering HNC qualification through Sunderland College.
When I left school I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, I studied an unrelated course at college but didn’t enjoy it so I traveled for a while and worked in a few different roles. When it came to getting serious about a career, I knew I wanted to do something practical and was interested in working with my hands, fixing, and building things. I don’t learn well in a classroom environment and saw the benefit in learning and gaining experience at the same time. An apprenticeship seemed like a good fit, plus earning money at the same time is a bonus.
I attended an open day at Sunderland College and matched with Haskel. The interview process was daunting at first, but I felt welcome instantly and after a tour of the shop floor I could see myself building systems one day.
I was delighted to be offered the apprenticeship position. I’ve tried loads of jobs, but I really feel like I fit here. It’s 100% the best career decision I have made.
The best part is definitely the people and working with the team.
Ever since I started, everyone has been really helpful and supportive; they answer ALL my questions and understand that is how I learn. Everyone has been in my position at some stage in their career and they encourage me to develop new skills and not to be afraid to make mistakes, so long as I learn from them of course.
From day one I felt like part of the team. I’m not treated any differently and I’m given the same opportunities as everyone else and can see myself developing here long-term. I couldn’t do that without the team and I’m really grateful for that.
As part of the apprentice program, I have been working on everything. We rotate between the departments to get experience and build our skills in all areas. So far I have worked in the systems department, on the H-Drives, on the MOD work, and in repairs. I’m working towards building larger systems and testing which I’m looking forward to.
I go to Sunderland College one day a week to study the more academic elements, including health and safety and math’s – a lot of math’s – which is important, but I prefer the more hands-on learning on the shop floor.
I’m really enjoying the variety and building my skills – both learning new things and building on skills I already had. These come in handy outside of work too, I’m now the resident DIY’er at home and lead flat pack furniture assembler.
I also enjoy working with the team, it’s hard work but we have fun too which is important and makes it easier to learn. The whole experience has been great so far.
The biggest challenge has been being introduced to the more complex parts, such as testing. When I was first shown how to test an H-Drive it was quite overwhelming but there is always someone round to ask if I’m not sure and with the support of the team I’m confident I will pick it up.
Early on I was told there is no such thing as a daft question – which is good because I ask a lot of them. It’s the best way to learn.
I know I’m interested in progressing within Haskel, I want to gain as much experience as I can in all areas of the business to help guide my career here. I’m looking forward to my rotation in the service department and getting to see where the products end up and how they are used by customers. Once they are shipped, we don’t often get to see them so I think this will be a great opportunity.
Ask lots of questions and learn from your own and others’ mistakes. Any mistake you make, we have all made at some point so just be honest and ask for help when you need it.
I’m looking forward to working with the new apprentices when they start later this year and being able to pass on some of the knowledge I have gained so far.