FANUC apprentice scoops BTEC student award

A young rising star at Coventry-based FANUC is celebrating ending his first full year of apprenticeship studies, recently winning Best First Year BTEC Student of the Year at the Midland Group Training Services (MGTS) Apprenticeship Awards 2016. Having achieved distinctions in all of his subjects, George Wise was nominated by his tutors who praised his “industrious and mature approach to further education studies.”    

When it comes to his studies, George attributes his success to self-discipline, which he believes have been honed by working in FANUC’s busy environment and interacting with customers and colleagues.

Despite receiving apprenticeship offers from several other companies, 19 year old says that FANUC was and would still be his first choice. “Other than my interest in robotics and automation, I was attracted by FANUC’s wide product range which would give me opportunities to gain experience in multiple areas. Automation is an industry that is on a growth curve, where technology is continually evolving and getting smarter. As a result, I feel confident that I will have a secure career in the future.”

Currently mid-way through his second year of a four-year apprenticeship programme with the robotics and automation specialist, George is among the soaring number of young people with an interest in engineering who take the apprenticeship pathway over other options. He explains that the idea of learning the theory of something and then applying that to a practical application appealed. “In addition to the learning aspect of an apprenticeship I found the independence of earning a wage very attractive, as it was an opportunity to give myself some freedom. What’s more, apprenticeships give a solid base for career progression.”

Virtually all of George’s first year was spent completing off-the-job training at MGTS’s Coventry centre, learning basic mechanical and maintenance engineering techniques as well as other important elements of engineering, such as health and safety and the 5S methodology. While completing the NVQ level 2 in Performing Engineering Operations, he simultaneously embarked on the BTEC level 3 National Certificate in Operations and Maintenance Engineering, achieving distinctions in every subject. “I’ve especially enjoyed furthering my knowledge and learning new skills, as well as meeting new people during my first year.”

For the next three years, George will combine working at FANUC UK’s headquarters, rotating around different departments, whilst completing his BTEC National Certificate and progressing onto a degree. His five-year ambition is to complete a degree in engineering and be in a position where he can apply for a job in project management at FANUC.

Right now though, George is enjoying mastering his understanding of the entire FANUC product range. So far, he’s worked in the industrial Robotics and CNC Robodrill departments. This June marks the halfway point of his studies, and that’s when George will begin to determine where his engineering strengths and interests lie.  “During my fourth year, the FANUC management team and I will reach a mutual decision on which business area I will specialise in.”

George’s mentor within FANUC Rachel Kenning, is equally proud of his accomplishments, and says he has rapidly proven himself to be a natural engineer. “George is conscientious, motivated and eager to learn, and has integrated into the FANUC culture seamlessly. His hard work, enthusiasm and ambitious appetite to progress is an inspiration to many and I am confident that George has a strong career ahead of him,” says Steve Capon

For over two-decades, FANUC has offered a comprehensive apprentice and degree student ‘sandwich year’ programme.  Since the firm’s apprenticeship scheme started in 1997, more than 16 apprentices have spent up to four years learning all aspects of the business and have been encouraged to progress academically.

Automation Update