Elliot Morris, 18, is an apprentice Electrical and Mechanical Maintenance Operative at Sodexo Astra Zeneca in Macclesfield, combining work with studying for a Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship in Engineering Manufacture, which includes an NVQ Extended Diploma in Engineering Maintenance.
Elliot explains more, “Although there are engineers in my family, I had no experience in the industry. I completed my GCSEs, spent two weeks at college and hated it. I’d spent a day at Sodexo on work experience while I was at school and really enjoyed it, so I applied for a few apprenticeships, with Sodexo firmly as my first choice. I was really pleased when I was accepted onto the programme”.
Elliot started work at Sodexo and was immediately signed up onto an apprenticeship with Total People, this included being allocated a dedicated Learning Coach to support him throughout all aspects of the programme. As a ‘supernumerary’ apprentice (an extra apprentice not assigned to a particular area), Elliot is able to spend six months in each department, making the work variable and different every day.
“I love the variation,” explains Elliot.
I’m learning new things depending on which department and team I’m working with and I’ve gained both Electrical and Mechanical skills and knowledge.
Elliot is progressing well through the apprenticeship programme; completing practical units at Total People’s Engineering Workshop and he is hoping to go on to do a HNC. This progress and his commitment has not gone unnoticed; Elliot recently won the Sodexo Apprentice of the Year 2020, over both the Macclesfield and Alderley Park Sites.
“It’s been my biggest achievement to date,” says Elliot. “Along with completing both my Level 2 and Level 3 qualifications it’s been the highlight of my time with Sodexo and it’s made me incredibly proud. For the future I’d like to get a permanent job with Sodexo and pursue my career. I’d love to do a degree eventually – the apprenticeship route will enable me to this without amassing any debt”.
An apprenticeship has clearly been a great choice for Elliot, and he’d recommend this option to anyone; “I’d say do your research and make sure it’s something you definitely want to do – for example engineering is ideal if you like to be hands on – then go for it. You’re earning while you learn – it’s the perfect mix”.