Success Story - Rachel Chell
From an early age Rachel was always a ‘hands-on’ type of girl who preferred getting her hands dirty to working in an office.
So it was no surprise when she left Cheadle High School to start an apprenticeship in Engineering at digger giant JCB. And, although she was the only girl in the workshop at Buxton & Leek College where she started her training, she never let that worry her and passed both her NVQ Level 2 and Level 3 courses in engineering with flying colours.
Rachel is currently working at JCB’s XP division in Cecily Mills, Oakamoor Road, Cheadle and there she’s involved in lots of research and development work, testing out new products and developing them further.
“I’ve never been one for fake nails and that sort of thing. I’m happier putting on my overalls and working on a lathe. So I’m really enjoying my apprenticeship and the tutors at Buxton & Leek College have been brilliant.
“I’ve been attending college one day a week and I am treated no differently to the lads. I’ve learned how to turn metal on a lathe and use the milling machines and I’ve enjoyed the practical nature of the course so much that I want to take it further and aim to complete my Foundation degree.“
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Success Story - Ben Snutch
When furniture manufacturer Nick Box was looking to expand his business he knew just where to look to find a reliable employee.
The boss of Craft Furniture, which has bases in both Leek and Buxton, was so impressed with his apprentice joiner from Buxton and Leek College that he didn’t hesitate in taking on a second.
Now, at the age of just 20, first apprentice Ben Snutch, who joined the company eighteen months ago, has made a real impact, being promoted to workshop manager at the Leek site and is helping supervise new apprentice Taylor Golding from Leek.
From a base in Sneyd Street, Leek, a team of seven are employed in the manufacture of high quality cabinets, wardrobes, tables and chairs for supply to stores nationwide. Although he originally set out to be a site joiner, Ben, who completed his NVQ Level 2 in joinery through an apprenticeship with Buxton and Leek College, feels he has found his niche in life.
Ben, from Endon, said: “I didn’t think I’d like working indoors to start with as I’d always wanted to work on building sites but, halfway through my apprenticeship, work in the building trade dried up and I had to adapt my skills to something new.
“Now I wouldn’t go back. Working at Craft Furniture is brilliant because I am making stuff instead of just fitting it and every day is different. I am left to my own devices with no-one looking over my shoulder and really enjoy what I do.”
Boss Nick Box said: “I was impressed with Ben from the outset. He has a really brilliant work ethic and he was trained to a high standard through the college.
“The money I have spent employing him while he finished his training has been well worth it and, although I know that Ben wants to have his own place eventually, he is still young so I have decided to involve him more in the running of the business and promoted him to workshop manager.
“I have been so impressed with him that I didn’t hesitate to turn to Buxton and Leek College again when the time came to expand. I now have a second apprentice joiner, Taylor Golding, and would recommend the apprenticeship scheme to any employer.”
Taylor, who is working towards his NVQ Level 2 qualification in bench joinery, attends the Leek campus of Buxton and Leek College on day release each week and is learning on the job at the base of Craft Furniture in Sneyd Street.