Adam Harris from Mettler Toledo – My Journey Since Leaving School

My Journey since Leaving School

When I left school in 2008 I was always wanting to become an apprentice in the electrical sector. I struggled to find and apprenticeship so I went to college and spent 2 years getting my electrical installation qualifications full time. In my last year I was constantly trying to find apprenticeships out there as my next step up would be to get qualifications in the engineering background. I applied to STEGTA to help find an apprenticeship to start my career where I could earn money as well as gain industry recognized qualifications.

Mettler Toledo had a vacancy for an Advanced Electrical/Electronic Engineering Apprenticeship this is where I applied having to carry out a full interview/presentation day with a factory tour.

After being offered the vacancy my career now was on the roll and I knew I had the opportunity to set me up for life if I worked hard and passed all my college work and NVQ work.

During my 4 year apprenticeship I gained the following:

  • BTEC Electrical/Electronic Engineering ONC
  • BTEC Electrical/Electronic Engineering HNC
  • NVQ Level 2 Electrical/Electronic Engineering
  • NVQ Level 3 Electrical/Electronic Engineering
  • Advanced Engineering Apprenticeship Certificate

Now I was set up for life with qualifications and 4 years engineering experience, I had been offered a job as a Final Test engineer, this is where we electrically and functionally test our products and sign them off to say they are fit for purpose before the product is delivered to the customer.

Due to my drive for success and always wanting to challenge myself I knew that I didn’t want to be doing this job for the rest of my life. I had covered team leaders whilst they were working away off site for 3 weeks at a time and supervised the production line during my apprenticeship. This short experience 100% sold me down the management path, rather than the technical development path such as heading over to research & development (R&D).

I expressed this to my team leader (Adam Moss) at the time, who was previously my apprentice mentor. I asked if I could firstly volunteer to help with the apprenticeship program and become an apprentice mentor with him. He took me onboard to help improve, support and restructure the apprenticeship program.

April 2018, I applied and was successful for a new job role/development opportunity which was the Team Leader Trainee Program (TLTP). With this new role my responsibilities included learning all the different leadership processes on the different production lines around the business. To support the team leader and performs leadership duties when the team leader is absent. I have also gained my ILM Level 3 management Qualification December 2018.

December 2018, a job vacancy was advertised “Depot Repair Team Leader”. This was a line that didn’t have a specific team leader and was having a complete re-structure with processes and team expansion. This was a line that needed to be started again with a clean slate. I applied for this role and was success full as this was another big step up the ladder in Mettler Toledo.

I have currently been working in this role for a month now and loving every minute of it. I have a team of 7 Depot Repair Engineers and all our apprentices also report to myself. I also still help mentor our apprentices with Adam Moss on a daily basis.

Overall I feel that I have set myself up for life, I can keep aiming to climb the ladder into senior management.

Without this apprenticeship, also my own hard work and commitment, I wouldn’t be able to have any of the following:

  • Bought 4 bedroom house at the age of 21.
  • Bought myself a brand new BMW when I was 21.
  • Travelled to lots of exotic locations (Australia, Jamaica, Mexico, Cuba, Venezuela and many more).
  • Engaged to my fiancée Olivia.
  • Expecting our first baby girl April 2019.

“Think smart and set your foundations for a successful and enjoyable future”

Adam Harris

Learners complete their NVQ and apprenticeships after only 2 years at Mettler!

Congratulations to Elliot Morris, Jack Woolmer and Brendan Moss

STEGTA Training Officer Helen Wilson awards the certificates to Elliot, Jack & Brendan who are employed at Mettler Toledo Safeline. Helen commented: ‘Apprentices are completing quickly, training plans are slick and NVQ’s are delivered with ease. This is down to a strong mentor, effective recruitment and a well-planned and monitored training scheme’ Well done all, I am very proud.’

Elliot says “I am really glad to complete my NVQ with Stegta, whilst completing it I have gained a number of skills and knowledge within the engineering field which will help me for the future. Thanks for the opportunity.”

Jack says: ‘Really glad to complete my NVQ as it has given me the opportunity to develop new skills, whilst gaining a qualification, that will assist me throughout my career’.

Brendan says: Feels great to finish my NVQ early as it gives me a chance to focus on my HNC at college, really appreciate the support that Helen and the rest of Stegta have provided me with, thank you for the opportunity!

Adam Moss, mentor for all 3 learners is very proud! Adam said “To say I am proud of the efforts of Brendan, Elliot and Jack is an understatement. What these three have achieved over just over two years is amazing. To have their NVQ completed while attending college and a full time apprenticeship takes a lot of dedication, showing professionalism and hard work. Our apprentices have a target to complete their NVQ within three years and these three were able to hand their portfolios at the end of their second year. Credit to all of them and they can now concentrate on their further studies. Brendan, Elliot and Jack have shown a mature and professional attitude in the way they conduct themselves on a day-to-day basis throughout all departments of the business. As a company we see a great future for the three of them in mechanical roles, also excellent role models for the younger apprentice generation within MT Safeline. Credit must also go to Helen Wilson who helped guide these young professionals through their NVQ building a great mutual relationship, setting and helping them achieve their targets”.

STEGTA CEO John Whitby celebrates 25 years in the Industry!

CEO John Whitby & Deputy CEO Ian Parker
STEGTA Deputy CEO Ian Parker presents John with a handcrafted engraved Lathe Operator to mark his 25 year Anniversary.

We asked John how he initially began his career in training & also his proudest achievements during his tenure at STEGTA.

My initial interest in engineering began aged 14 where I was a member of the Gorse Hill Boys Brigade. I was assisting with the support of the Junior section and worked alongside the Officer who was teaching Electronics. I found it really interesting and decided from this early age that this was something I wanted to pursue as a career.

After completing my exams and leaving Secondary school, I started with EITB (Engineering Industry Training Board). This comprised of 1 year off the job training at North Trafford College which included Electrical, Electronics, Turning, Milling and Fabrication & Welding. After completing, I began work as a second year Apprentice at GEC Traction based in Trafford Park who at the time had around 15,000 staff on site.

After I came out of my time, I was still keen to learn and wanted to further my knowledge. I soon became the first Craft Apprentice in the company to undertake and complete a HNC in Electrical Engineering.

A fellow colleague who was an internal Training Instructor was preparing to leave the company and encouraged me to apply for the job. I applied and was successful which meant that aged 23, I became the youngest Training Instructor at the company. I taught Electrical/Electronic Engineering full time to groups of up to 15 Apprentices from the GEC Group of companies on site at the Training Centre.

After 7 years as a Training Instructor, I took redundancy and seen a vacancy at STEGTA as a Training Officer which I decided to apply for. I’d seen STEGTA at Careers Events and knew a little bit about what they did. I decided to apply for the role and was offered the position. My new role evolved and I soon became involved in other parts of the organisation such as sourcing new business, contract management and dealing with the funding claim. After 5 years at STEGTA, I became Chief Executive designate with a 5 year succession plan eventually taking over as CEO in 2003.

During this time, I led the organisation through various accreditations including TSC (Training Standards Council) and ALI (Adult Learning Inspectorate) which we would now recognise as an OFSTED inspection. We became one of the first Training Providers in the country to achieve a Grade 1 for Trainee support.
I’m pleased to say that STEGTA has grown substantially over the last few years and we currently support around 600 Apprentices, with 180 employers and have partnerships with 30 Colleges across England.

During my career, I’m proud to have provided Mentorship to other CEO’s and supported other Training Providers through OFSTED inspections and other accreditations. I’m also proud to have some of my ex Apprentices as STEGTA Training Officers and to still be in touch with some of my Apprentices from GEC Traction. Some of the children of my Apprentices are now also working towards an Apprenticeship with us!

It’s really rewarding to see their career progression and I’m pleased to have played a small part in their journey.

Matrix / ISO 27001 Reaccreditation

We are pleased to announce that we have been reaccredited with the matrix Standard

The matrix Standard is a unique quality standard for organisations to assess and measure their advice and support services, which ultimately supports individuals in their choice of career, learning, work and life goals.

Learners commented on how the support had helped them to develop such qualities and behaviours: I developed skills not just for work, but for life; Improved my communication and teamwork no end; I’m much more confident in a group; I’ve got a clear career plan now; I think I’m more responsible now as a person.

Thank you to the Apprentices, Employers and our Training Partners that supported us through the process.

ISO 27001
In May 2018, we were also accredited with ISO 27001.

ISO 27001 is an Information Security Management accreditation and certification demonstrates that we have systems in place to protect corporate information and data, whether this is online or offline


We would like to Congratulate Graham Nicholson who is employed by Proline Engineering Ltd as he has been awarded the STEGTA Excellence Award for Mechanical Engineering. Pictured with Graham is Managing Director for Proline is Ivan Wroe.

We asked Graham how he felt about winning the award:

“I would like to thank Proline Engineering and STEGTA for this opportunity. The Apprenticeship was really interesting & I have met some great people along my journey. Although I struggled with elements of my Apprenticeship, with the support of Proline & my Training Officer Ian Coward, I managed to complete the Apprenticeship to a high standard. “

STEGTA Training Officer Ian Coward commented:

“Graham began his Advanced Apprenticeship at Proline Engineering at age 17, and was initially struck by the amount of work required of him in order to successfully complete the qualification. He commenced with his practical training and he attended Wigan & Leigh College to complete the BTEC in Engineering over the next 2 years. During his time in College he found the work well within his capabilities and he passed with Merit & Distinctions. His company encouraged him to progress onto the HNC and even though he had some difficulties on his journey he was able to bring his work up to standard, and complete all the necessary assignments and course work. He passed with Merits, and is now responsible in company for complex component manufacture, and assisting the new company apprentices. Well done Graham!”

Sam & Ian Stegta Excellence Awards Thumbnail

STEGTA Excellence Award – SAM KIRKLAND

We would like to Congratulate Sam Kirkland who is employed by A C Elevators Ltd as he has been awarded the STEGTA Excellence Award for Engineering Maintenance. Pictured with Sam is STEGTA Training Officer Ian Coward.

We asked Sam how he felt about winning the award:

I was offered a job in lift engineering which sounded a really interesting job. As I like to set myself goals in life and test myself, I took the job as it was nothing like I had ever done before. I really enjoy my job as a lift engineer as I see different places and different technology everyday which means I’m always learning something new.

The support that I received from my employer, Chris Turner and Ian Coward (my STEGTA Training Officer) was more than I could have asked for. Chris and Ian gave me any help I needed with my Apprenticeship training. Ian was always in regular contact asking how I was getting on with my NVQ and College studies and we have a great relationship.

I feel very happy to have won the Excellence Award as it proves to me that all the hard work that I have put in has paid off. There were times when the work was challenging but it was all worth it and if I can do it, anyone can.

After completing my Apprenticeship, I hope to continue my studies to Level 4 once I have more experience.

I would like to thank everyone at STEGTA for their help and guidance and a big thankyou to Ian Coward once again for his ongoing support.

Sam’s Manager Chris Turner commented:

“Congratulations Sam, our first Apprentice to fully complete his Apprenticeship and receive an Outstanding Performance Award in Engineering Maintenance. Thanks to everyone at STEGTA especially Ian Coward for their help and support and with two more Apprentices already on the pathway helping us with our commitment to produce a skilled and competent workforce”.

STEGTA Training Officer Ian Coward commented:

“Sam left school and initially tried his hand at joinery & building. Once he realised this wasn’t for him, he began his Advanced Apprenticeship at AC Elevators, as a lift engineer. During the 1st two years, Sam completed all of the Level 2 units at his day-release training centre, before beginning his Level 3 Technical Certificate. Over the next 18 months, he presented 14 examples of jobs he had carried out, in order to meet the many & various criteria contained in all the units needed for the Level 3 qualification. Each job was detailed, with very good explanations and photographs of the work carried out. During professional discussions and work observations it was evident he had a very extensive and detailed knowledge of the equipment he was charged to install, service and maintain at a number of various sites around the country. Since completing his Extended NVQ diploma, he has been put in charge of his own Trainee and now has to impart all the knowledge and skills he has learned over the past 4 years into the next generation of lift engineer. Well Done Sam!”

Jonathan Valentine - Stegta Excellence Awards

STEGTA Excellence Award – Jonathan Valentine

We would like to Congratulate Jonathan Valentine who is employed by East Lancashire Light Railway Co Ltd as he has been awarded the STEGTA Excellence Award for Apprenticeship Mentoring. Pictured with Jonathan is STEGTA Training Officer Ian Coward and Chief Executive (East Lancashire Light Railway Co Ltd) – Tracy Parkinson.
We asked Jonathan how he felt about winning the award:
I was very happy when I found out I had won the STEGTA Excellence Award, as I have put a lot of time and effort in to helping the Apprentice with their files and make sure they were up to date. STEGTA and Ian Coward have done a fantastic job in supporting me and the learners through the time I have been mentoring them. We are currently in talks with STEGTA to recruit some more Apprentice’s and I look forward to helping them learn and pass on my knowledge and skills.

STEGTA Training Officer Ian Coward commented:

We have enjoyed working with Jonathan for a number of years and during this time he has always been 100% committed to supporting the Apprentices at East Lancashire Railway. He is always on hand to guide the learners through their training, giving praise where it is due and making sure they complete the targets set by the Training Officer. He ensures they have access to the required training while at work and takes great pride in making sure that every apprentice makes the most out of their training. Jonathan also extends his support even after they have completed their Apprenticeships. He is genuinely interested in the progress of the Apprentices and this is clear from his conversations and actions. Congratulations Jonathan!


Jordan & Thomas - Stegta Excellence Awards
We would like to Congratulate Jordan Byrne and Thomas McNamara who are both employed by Fresenius Kabi & Calea UK Ltd in Runcorn, as they have been awarded the STEGTA Excellence Award for Outstanding Performance in Electrical/Electronic Engineering.

We asked Thomas and Jordan how they felt about winning the award.

Jordan commented:

“My reason for pursuing a career in the engineering field was due to my interest in practical, hands on work that I experienced while at school. I always looked forward to my technology lessons that consisted mainly of practical style work and electronic work more specifically.

Both my employer and everybody I have worked with at STEGTA have always been helpful throughout the Apprenticeship. I have always been given time during work to complete any work that needed doing. My training officer Dave Smith has been extremely helpful if I ever faced problems with my work throughout the 3 years and was always quick to reply to me when available so I would like to thank him for that. At the STEGTA Training Centre, Dave Harrison was excellent to work with and his knowledge of hand fitting, milling and turning taught me a lot about generic engineering skills.

I am very proud of myself for winning the Excellence award and it is gratifying to know that my hard work over the 3 years has been recognised. I am thankful to Dave Smith for nominating me for the Award”.

Thomas commented:

“I am very proud to have won this Excellence Award and it just goes to show all your hard work throughout the Apprenticeship period does not go un-noticed by Fresenius Kabi and STEGTA. It came as a surprise for me to win this award but one that is thoroughly welcomed and I am extremely pleased about.

Since I started my Apprenticeship here at Fresenius Kabi with STEGTA, I have been supported with my training and my day to day work to which I have now gathered a wide range of knowledge throughout the business and I now feel confident in the work that I do. Dave Smith consistently explained to me the criteria needed in order to achieve the best mark in my work and I can’t thank him enough for the ongoing support and guidance. I feel a massive benefit about aspects of the NVQ is the job write ups. The reason I feel this way is because you have to complete a step by step process on a repair, to which there are steps you do without thinking.

Overall my Apprenticeship has helped me gain experience and knowledge within my job role. I am also proud of the level of my work and the feedback I have had over this period. Now that it is complete, I am looking to complete a HNC in Electrical and Electronic Engineering in the near future”.

Rob Cully – Mentor for Jordan and Thomas commented:

“We are extremely proud of Tom and Jordan’s achievement. The excellence award is a recognition of the hard work that they have put into their Apprenticeships. The support that we have received from STEGTA, in particular from their training office Dave Smith, has been first class.
We are sure that this Apprenticeship has given them both the experience and the skills that they will need to undoubtedly go on to a long and successful career in Engineering. Congratulations once again to Tom and Jordan, they have set the bar very high for our other Apprentices”!

Paul Kelly (Repair Centre Manager) commented: “Firstly I would personally like to thank Stegta for the support they have provided for my Team the communication has been excellent throughout all the training provided. I believe the mentor training provided to our management team was an important part of the journey to help us to understand the support the candidates required to complete the Apprenticeship programme.

As a company we are extremely proud of the achievements of Tom & Jordan and the way they have conducted themselves displaying maturity and dedication to learning new skills and becoming a vital part of our team.

Both Tom & Jordan have excelled since joining the Medical Devices Department in 2015 showing great work ethic completing a Level 3 BTEC Diploma, Level 2 Performing Engineering Operations and NVQ Level 3 in Electrical & Electronic Engineering.

I am looking forward to supporting Tom & Jordan as they progress on their journey of continuous in-house training and enrol on the HNC course to further their skills and knowledge”.

Training Officer Dave Smith said “A huge congratulations to both Tom and Jordan as joint winners of the Electrical/Electronic Engineering award! Both have worked incredibly hard during their time with Fresenius Kabi and it would have been impossible to choose a single winner between them. I am delighted that their efforts over the last few years have been recognised by STEGTA and fully expect that they will progress their careers and become invaluable members of the Fresenius Kabi team after completing their apprenticeships. Well done!”

Pictures include Dave Smith (STEGTA Assistant Group Training Manager) and Paul Howarth (STEGTA Group Training Manager), Jordan Byrne and Thomas McNamara. Managing Director of Fresenius Kabi & Calea UK Ltd Niamh Furey, John Hutchinson (Technical Services Manager), Jan Painter (Business Unit Director), Paul Kelly (Repair Centre Manager) and Rob Cully (Enteral Devices Section Leader)


Liam Hare With Ian Mcmanus & Rick Jones Stegta Awards

We would like to Congratulate Liam Hare who is employed by ARUP in Leeds, as he has been awarded the STEGTA Excellence Award for Outstanding Performance in Design and Draughting. Pictured with Liam is STEGTA Training Officer Rick Jones and Mentor for Liam, Ian McManus from ARUP.

We asked Liam how he felt about winning the award:

“I chose a career in engineering design because I have always had a keen eye as well as paid deep interested in the design and construction of things in life. I have always been interested in the way things are designed and why they were designed in that way. Ever since I was a child I used to dismantle my bikes and figure out how to put them back together, purely because I was intrigued on how they were designed and how it all worked.

I believe my passion for engineering design really helped me win the STEGTA Excellence Award. I strive to do the best I can in everything I take part in and it just goes to show that it really does pay off.

I wouldn’t have been able to achieve this award without the support I have had off my employer Arup and my training provider STEGTA. Arup and STEGTA have always provided me with help and support whenever I have needed it. Since working for Arup, I have learnt a lot within the engineering industry and STEGTA guided me through completing my apprenticeship. I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank my Mentor Ian McManus and STEGTA Training Officer Rick Jones for their support and guidance throughout my Apprenticeship.

One of my future plans is to keep progressing my education right through to my degree. In the future I strive to become an Electrical Engineer and I will make sure I do what it takes to get there”.

Liam’s Mentor Ian McManus commented:
“Liam joined Arup two years ago as an Electrical Technician Apprentice. Liam is very enthusiastic and has provided an outstanding contribution both to the team and in particular to the ISA steam generation plant project to develop the 3D model. This award is a great achievement and reflects his hard work, commitment to engineering design and Arup”.

Rick Jones commented:
“Liam joined Arup in September 2016 and became an Apprentice with STEGTA. He had already completed 1 year at college and was already half way through a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Engineering (having completed 9 units). In his own admission he hadn’t tried as hard as he felt he could, obtaining a pass level. He registered to complete the remaining units on the Level 3 Diploma in Engineering as required at Leeds City College. His remaining subjects at college he obtained 4 Distinctions as he resat the communication unit, showing that he was capable of achieving the best qualifications.

Since my very first visit, Liam has never ceased to amaze me. Every task he was given, he completed it within the required timescale and the quality of his work was well planned, very neat, and of exceptional quality. Over the period of his apprenticeship, he has gone over previously completed work to add more information and enrich his responses.

Liam is polite, professional, respectful and is an absolute pleasure to work with. His knowledge and experience within work is soaring due to the help and guidance of his department and line manager Ian McManus, and I can only see him going from strength to strength within the industry. A massive well done Liam, well deserved”.