Why I came to ISF
I always knew that I couldn’t sit on a computer all day, that’s just not me. I’d rather be working with my hands…I think it’s in your blood isn’t it!
My dad actually used to work at ISF, over 22 years ago now, and my uncle worked here as well! I previously worked at a HGV repair centre, but I wanted to further my skills and knowledge and ISF was the perfect place to do so.
Dad’s always said if you want to learn, go to ISF. Out of all the places that he’s worked, he’s always said come here, so I had a lot of respect for this place and fuelled by Dad’s wisdom, it felt like a good fit.
What happened on my Apprenticeship
I began my apprenticeship at ISF in August 2016, working one day a week in college and four days a week at the workshop to achieve my Advanced Level Apprenticeship in Engineering Manufacturing.
I had basic experience in welding and fabrication, but I’ve been on such a learning curve since joining ISF. The wealth of technical knowledge these guys have built up is second to none and I’m grateful to have been mentored by the best in the business, translating my previous experience into niche, industry-specific knowledge that makes a real difference to our customers’ feed milling systems.
Career development at ISF
I always remember my colleague saying that if I ever get stuck on any part of a job, I should work out all the easy parts first and the rest will come together. It’s this optimistic mindset and problem-solving approach that has stuck with me and I continue to use to this day.
At ISF, they give you the chance to try everything! If you are interested in a different route, they never say no and always give you that chance, and if you enjoy it, you can do that as well.
So since I completed my apprenticeship, I have completed my IOSH Managing Safely qualification and my Responsible Welding Coordinator Training. It’s great to work for a company who is always pushing you to upskill. You are always learning at ISF!
After 5 years working as a manufacturing engineer in the workshop, I decided I wanted a different challenge. With the support of the team I changed roles to become a Mechanical Installation Engineer, working at our customer sites across the UK.
My role at ISF now
As a Mechanical Installation Engineer, my daily activities involve problem solving challenges on the go and working with the team to project plan, organise installations and ensure a high standard of finish for our customers feed processing systems.
My previous workshop experience has helped me to be holistic in my approach to identifying and translating customer needs. Having insight into the whole process and utilising my transferable technical skills, I can bring more strategic engineering solutions to our customers on site.
The fact that no two days are the same is what I enjoy most about my job now. Being on site means that you’re never bored, there’s always a new challenge and a new solution to find, and I find that incredibly rewarding.
The split between working locally and working away at a variety of sites across the UK also has a lot of benefits. Not only does ISF offer generous benefits and high-quality accommodation when working away from home, working on site is a great opportunity to meet new people, learn new skills on the job, and teaches you an invaluable lesson in working on your own initiative.
A word of advice for anyone considering an apprenticeship at ISF
I would say go for it. Simple as that! Work hard, learn as much as possible, keep asking questions and do what you enjoy. At ISF, there are so many opportunities. There is so much to learn, so much. I definitely want to stay here, because even if I was here for 20 years or more, I still wouldn’t be able to do everything that you can do here, it’s ridiculous!
And it helps that ISF is like a big family in a way, everyone just gets on. Having such a positive workplace culture, it definitely makes life easy. Do what you love and love what you do!