Why did you choose to pursue an apprenticeship?
When I finished college, I went working as labourer installing and servicing farm equipment, a job which I enjoyed but career development and progression was limited. I chose an apprenticeship because it is practical hands on training in a working environment, as well as the opportunity to attend a college for the theory aspect of the craft. This apprenticeship offers numerous career prospects.
I chose GSK because they are a large employer locally and I always heard they were a good company to work for. It's great to work for a forward-thinking multinational company that puts people first with plenty of opportunities for further career development.
How would you describe your role at GSK?
I am doing an electrical apprenticeship in the Oral Care site in Dungarvan working in the maintenance department. I help with routine and non-routine maintenance of tablet and paste lines, I carry out mini projects assigned to me by my supervisor, keeping EHS and quality my top priority.
When I started my apprenticeship with GSK two years ago, I never worked in a factory environment before this. The biggest challenges I faced was getting used to:
- all the different standard operating procedures (SOP’s)
- the documentation required to be completed because of working in a regulated company
- finding my way round the factory to understand where everything is located
- understanding the different manufacturing and packaging processes throughout the site (how the machines work within the processes)
Since joining GSK I have learned a lot:
- The importance of being accountable for my own safety and the safety of others when working on equipment
- The practical skills I need to do my job every day
- Improved confidence to try new things (Outward Bounds Event in the UK) whereby I was encouraged to work outside of my comfort zone, and encouraged to make decisions in a controlled environment
- Communication skills both in Dungarvan as well as in the UK (Outward Bounds Event and Fieri Leadership / Development Event)
- Leadership fellowship and working as a team (Fieri Leadership / Development Event)
Any highlights from your apprenticeship so far?
Achievements I'm most proud of:
- Getting an overall score of Distinction in phase 2 ‘Off The Job’ training in Solas.
- The involvement in different projects, installing light scanners for pallet magazine on the Dan palletizer, installing starter and indicator light for polishing wheel in heavy workshop. Fitting 24V circuit and lights on the cartonor machine on Tube line 4.
Speaking in front of the FLL’s and David Barnwell (VP Global Engineering / EHS) during a site visit explaining a task I completed as part of the TPM project on Tube Line 4.
GSK in three words:
- Challenging, Supportive, Integrity
What advice would you give to someone considering an apprenticeship?
For people considering an apprenticeship and joining GSK I would highly recommend it. It’s a great environment to learn and work. GSK have always supported and encouraged me to achieve the best with a clear path for progression in the company.