Full name: Matthew Schofield
Job title: Mechatronics Maintenance Technician
Apprenticeship studying: Mechatronics Maintenance Technician
Training Provider: University of Sheffield AMRC Training Centre
Company name: The University of Sheffield
Q: Why did an apprenticeship appeal to you?
A: I believe an apprenticeship is a fantastic way to gain employment within the engineering sector. By getting an apprenticeship, I have been able to fully develop my skills and passion for understanding how electrical and mechanical systems work across a wide variety of equipment.
Q: Where would you like to see your career take you within the next few years?
A: I would like to see myself progress further in my career to become a skilled engineer with further knowledge across multiple engineering disciplines, and be renowned for my expertise and reliability. After gaining the relevant knowledge and confidence, I would love to work my way up into supervisory roles and beyond.
Q: What would you say are the benefits of going down an apprenticeship route compared to other career choices out there?
A: With an apprenticeship, I am able to gain qualifications and experience in a sector which I am highly passionate about. The AMRC Training Centre and University of Sheffield provide many benefits including excellent tutors and good pay.
Q: What is the most challenging part of an apprenticeship?
A: I found the most challenging part of my apprenticeship was at the beginning. This was due to the amount of information I was given to understand and combined with my lack of experience, I struggled. But over time, once my knowledge and understanding of my job was becoming more familiar, I was able to adapt more to it, and it became a driving factor instead of being such a big challenge.
Q: How do you manage to balance the demands of a working environment alongside your studying?
A: In terms of managing my work/studying balance, I firstly had to get to grips with my time management. I learnt to juggle both the demands of my studies and on the job work of the apprenticeship alongside my personal life. Once I did this, I got into a routine. I quickly found myself excelling in my apprenticeship and found myself enjoying my education and working life.
Q: What tips would you give to a young person who is thinking about applying for an apprenticeship?
A: At first, applying for and then starting an apprenticeship felt overwhelming – this was due to the amount of knowledge and information I had to understand. But over time, as my experience and knowledge increased, it became easier. It is really important to keep on top of the work and training, as this helps with easing the mind in demanding times such as meeting deadlines.
Q: What advice would you give to other prospective students who are looking to do an apprenticeship?
A: Go for it, set your sights high and you will never look back!
I started my apprenticeship at 23 and initially thought I was getting a bit too old to start something new, but I couldn't have been more wrong. I’ve found myself having more enthusiasm and passion than ever before - and this has reflected in my personal life - and has given me a great feeling of accomplishment. I feel I am really going to get something out of life due to my apprenticeship and would recommend them to everyone.