Tom Merchant, 21, is a Senior Technician Apprentice with Niftylift, MK-based manufacturer of cherry pickers, work platforms and more. In 2015, he participated in a one-hour Career WorkOut event at St. Paul’s School organised by charity Worktree.
“Part of my job role includes visiting local schools and talking to students about my experience of becoming an engineer,” said Tom, “so other young people might become apprentices at Niftylift like me.”
“In the Career WorkOut session, we were asked only to answer the students’ open questions about our jobs. Some students lacked confidence at the beginning but by the end of the hour they were very relaxed and talkative.
“Through the event, I met a variety of people, all intelligent and well-spoken, and all seemed very interested in my job role, my entry into industry, and my general life as an adult. Talking about my job helped show me how far I have progressed in the 5-6 years since I left school.
“Putting aside a small amount of my time to inspire and develop young people was very fulfilling. Many of the students are worried about what their future holds and how they are going to build a life once their schooling ends. It is nice to reassure the students and tell them about your own first hand experiences.
“We at Niftylift feel that Career WorkOut helps us find students who are interested in engineering but unaware of their options. These sessions also develop students’ confidence and general knowledge of the workplace. That’s good for us…and good for them.”