Our Commercial Apprentice, Tom Weaver has written the below article on his first 3 months in employment, please read, share and like. We agree the manufacturing community needs more engaged apprentices, so lets celebrate the ones who are.


Tom Weaver – Future MD


In a weeks’ time I will have been at Frank Dudley Limited for 3 months, and I’ve progressed quite a lot. Meetings have gone from empty stares at customers and suppliers, to actually understanding content and taking down some helpful notes! I’ve also broadened my capabilities here, by observing and retaining information from Josh and several other members, allowing me to assist with quoting and to constructively contribute to ongoing projects. My time at work is seldom monotonous, with quoting, contacting associates and compiling data making up the bulk of my work load. No two enquiries are the same, and it is always engaging working out process routes and feasibilities.

Three months down the line of employment at FDL, I have completed 2 exams on my Level 2 accompanying college course, and I’m really starting to get to grips with things. Progress in the work shop is good, with about 50% of the practical work remaining, not to mention, my dedication to the academic side of the qualification has really paid off, with two high scoring marks, two distinctions. The lads at LEMA Academy are always a good laugh, however, I feel 25 weeks down the line when there’s work to be done we can all focus on the current task, and all work together, especially when one of us needs a hand. On the college day each week it is quite obvious where each of our strengths and weaknesses lie, and just like in the work place we can, between ourselves, allocate smaller tasks to pull together to produce a quality finished product. LEMA is enjoyable, however I am looking forward to completing the college course as I can then fully focus on my development and future role here at FDL.

My job role here at FDL is still the same, yet it is widening as I am picking up new skills, allowing me to get more involved with enquiries and projects as my time here increases, to complete more complex and challenging tasks that employees such as Josh carry out every day. The key change that I am experiencing at FDL is the growing independence and freedom to work with guidance, rather than through observation. I am keen to develop on this, especially as I can see where my work is going, and why it is beneficial. This really pushes me to achieve, and make sure I’m spot on each time as I understand that a large proportion of my work in the future will be going directly to customers once the team here, take a step back.

Although I am a commercial apprentice, working predominately in marketing and sales, I am still getting a high level of knowledge about all of the aspects of the company, and thus the industry as a whole. This knowledge will aid in quotation and conferring with a wide range of customer, not to mention it is interesting and is helping me to understand reasons behind many of the mandatory processes, at LEMA and FDL. A key event that I was keen to get involved with was the Macmillan Breakfast Morning last month. I helped staff here to invite other companies, arrange the spacing to fit all the attendees in, and to give a guided tour of our shop floor. Whilst I was apprehensive about it all, the tour in particular, I found myself coping far better than expected, with the hours of one on one mentoring with Josh proving invaluable in this situation.

To summarise; I am fitting in nicely and getting on with the multitude tasks at hand, I am being made to feel welcome by the whole team, and I am dedicated to achieving and progressing, through and with FDL in the near future.