Scottish Apprenticeship Week – Adam Kirkwood

Adam has no desire to look elsewhere for work after serving time as an apprentice with AJ Engineering

AJ Engineering is joining hundreds of companies across the country to celebrate Scottish Apprenticeship Week which kicked off on Monday.

Here we talk to Adam Kirkwood who was the second apprentice to be employed at AJ Engineering’s HQ in Forres some 15 years ago. Adam is now a charge hand within the workshop which means he now helps the new starts and less-experienced members of the team learn the ropes and is a point of contact for them if they have any questions or need assistance.

Name: Adam Kirkwood

Position: Fabricator-welder and chargehand

When did you start at AJ Engineering: October 2003

What was your role: Apprentice fabricator-welder

Why did you want to work at AJ Engineering? I enjoyed metalwork at school and college and although I didn’t really know anything about the industry, it sounded like an interesting line of work. I have always enjoyed working with my hands and I saw an advert in the paper which explained about the apprenticeship.

Why did you choose an apprenticeship? I realised when I was quite young that an office job just wasn’t for me and I was very relieved and grateful when I got the role and that Alan saw the potential in me and gave me a chance. At the time, apprenticeships were very hard to get and it was very competitive with lots of people going for each placement. I didn’t want to get pushed into doing a degree or college course that ended up not being right for me. I left school when I was 15, which is young.

What did doing the apprenticeship mean for you? I am still very happy that I chose this route rather than going to university or college and I am still very happy with the trade that I chose. Fifteen years on I know I made the right decision. I also now know that this is a great industry to be involved in as it can give you a very wide base of career paths to choose from within engineering.

What does the future hold? I intend to stay with AJ Engineering. Since I started here I have never looked elsewhere for work. I want to stay within the engineering industry and I hope that my experience in the workshop that I have built up may lead me on to try something new within the industry but whilst staying with AJ Engineering.

Message from the MD

Managing director of AJ Engineering Alan James. is passionate about his company’s apprentices.

Alan James, Managing Director of AJ Engineering, commented that Adam’s experience exemplified the best of the apprenticeship system in that school leavers, whether male or female, are given the opportunity to undertake a mix of on-the-job and college training while being in paid employment.

The company gets the benefit of young employees who want to learn, work hard and progress in a structured commercial environment.  Many, because of their sharp-end practical and theoretical experience, will go on to become managers; some have become directors and even business owners.

Also see:

Apprentice Calum Openshaw

Graduate apprentice Laura Mair

Managing director Alan James

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