Zachrome

16-year-old Jay Smith from South Normanton, near Chesterfield, started in Summer 2017 as an apprentice for Chesterfield-based chrome platers Zachrome. Jay is studying with NLT Training and at the end of two years will hold an NVQ Level 2 in Mechanical Engineering. In his first six months with the company, he has been working in […]
Jay Smith Apprentice

16-year-old Jay Smith from South Normanton, near Chesterfield, started in Summer 2017 as an apprentice for Chesterfield-based chrome platers Zachrome.

Jay is studying with NLT Training and at the end of two years will hold an NVQ Level 2 in Mechanical Engineering. In his first six months with the company, he has been working in the gun drilling and grinding departments and will move around the different departments learning a range of engineering skills.

In 2015, a 14-year-old Jay, then a student at Frederick Gent School, attended The Work-wise Foundation’s Summer Academy during his school holidays which included completing a week’s work placement with Zachrome. Jay wanted to attend Summer Academy to gain some
experience of the world of work and engineering, and already had a whole shed set up at home as his workshop.

Work-wise placed Jay with Zachrome who are a leading UK chrome and industrial bronze plating company with over 70 years’ experience supplying OEM specification parts. Jay was very keen and engaged and whilst on placement he experienced CNC, lathe, grinding, etching, assembly, chrome plating and much more.

John Barber, CEO and Co-founder of The Work-wise Foundation said, “When I visited him on his placement, Jay was so enthusiastic – his words were ‘brilliant ‘and ‘amazing’ – much more than I ever expected.”

Of the whole experience, Jay said, “It is an experience never to be forgotten. There is nothing that I would change – it is simply the best experience of a lifetime!”

Reflecting on the experience now, Jay added that the two days employability skills programme run by The Work-wise Foundation at the start of Summer Academy,  learning about Health & Safety, communication and interview skills, were invaluable. Jay’s father Andy told us, “We never imagined it would have such a positive outcome. My wife Agnieszka and I are very proud of what Jay has done and very grateful for your help.”

The company were equally impressed and Zachrome’s Managing Director, Andrew Colton would have been happy to offer him an apprenticeship there and then had he been old enough! They kept in touch and Jay went back to work for them during the holidays.

John Barber adds, “We have many very keen (if initially nervous) students who attend our programmes and Jay was amongst the most enthusiastic and positive to learn and succeed, and I remember Andy and the team at Zachrome being really impressed. The fact that the company kept in touch and two years on have offered him employment is a testament to his attitude and enthusiasm. It always gives us a great buzz when young people like
Jay live up to expectations and it just shows how those companies willing to invest in young people can reap the rewards and business benefits.”

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