I started my career as an apprentice at 16, joining the working world as a toolmaking apprentice. I worked at a local company where I grew up in Ilford, Essex, working on projects from multi-level print circuit systems to petrol pumps and even systems for defence.
As with anyone starting at that age, an apprenticeship felt like a big step into an unknown world. It was, however, a critical stepping stone that led to bigger and better things. At 21, I decided to pursue a career in sales. Due to the nature of my apprenticeship, which was very process-driven, I had a highly transferable skillset, even when switching job roles.
This mindset and skillset have formed the basis of my career and brought me, eventually, into the world of print and business operations. I’ve benefitted from experiencing the industry from all angles and points of view, learning step-by-step. The path eventually brought me to the role of CEO.
My apprenticeship was about learning a skill for life. Even now, I feel confident I could still get a job as a toolmaker. And we’ve worked hard to ensure our Ricoh apprenticeships nurture a range of skills that will carry participants through life.
We see apprenticeships as not only a way to introduce new talent to the organisation but also to instil core Ricoh values which we believe are fundamental to working life, regardless of industry.
Due to the nature of my apprenticeship, which was very process-driven, I had a highly transferable skillset, even when switching job roles.
Fulfilment through work is a key driver. We provide opportunities for individuals to develop their potential into a meaningful career pathway, alongside flexible working to find a balance between work and home life. We also want them to have the mental freedom to introduce learning to the equation.
We have a long history as a training provider, delivering leadership and technical apprenticeships, supporting individuals to find their purpose, and facilitating opportunities to develop that into further potential.
Part of this process is supporting individuals to find their purpose and facilitate opportunities to develop individual strengths and build on their potential.
One example is Evan Powell, who joined Ricoh as a Level 3 ICT Apprentice and completed Scala, giving him a foundation of technical/digital knowledge which in turn opened up the world of Project Management for him. He has gone on to complete a Level 4 Project Management apprenticeship within the TelCo division and is a shining example of our process yielding success.