Meet our apprentices

Apprentices are the lifeblood of businesses today and Bisley is no exception; we’ve employed and supported apprentices for over 20 years now. To celebrate our apprentices, we met up with some of them to find out more about their life at Bisley.

Today, we speak to Dale Berriman. Dale is a fourth-year Mechanical Engineering apprentice working in our Quality Assurance department. His team is responsible for maintaining our commitment to producing high quality products. This is achieved by not only making sure all parts of the manufacturing process are up to a high standard, but also making continuous improvements to these processes so that we continue to  produce the best quality products possible. Dale will be completing his apprenticeship this summer, making him a fully qualified engineer.

Can you give me a summary of your job?
My job is to provide solutions to issues that sometimes occur within production to ensure that our products are the best quality they can possibly be.

What are your main responsibilities?
Obviously, my main job is to fix any issues we may be experiencing with quality. Alongside this, I also put together information for documents on our LateralFile range. When a customer requests alterations on one of these products, I’ll check our database to see where all the parts for this are and then I’ll put the most relevant information into a document and produce a sketch. I’ll then give document to those working on LateralFile so they can determine the best way to get this product produced. I’m also in charge of checking paint samples to make sure the ones we’re using match our master samples so that our customers are getting the exact paint colour they’re expecting.

What attracted you to working for Bisley?
My apprenticeship isn’t the first time I’ve worked here, as I did work experience with Bisley when I was in secondary school.  My work experience involved everything, from seeing how the machines and robots in the factory worked, to being familiarised with all the different types of cabinets we produce. It was fascinating to see what goes into making everything at such a young age. My interest in the company began to grow from there and this experience had a big part in my decision to complete my apprenticeship at Bisley. 

How do you handle working and studying at the same time?
I find that the best thing to do when you’re assigned any college work is to tackle it head on as soon as possible can and keep track of everything. I’d say there’s many benefits to working and studying at the same time. Although it can be challenging and take up a lot of time, when I complete it all I’ll have qualifications, be established in my career and will have saved some money from working.

What experience or achievement are you most proud of?
Everything I’ve achieved academically. Before I came to Bisley, I did a pathway to apprenticeship programme in engineering to give me a bit of background and experience. Once I started my apprenticeship I did an NVQ, which is a practical and evidence based qualification, as well as a BTEC. Currently, I’m working on finishing up my HNC, which is the equivalent to one year at university. These qualifications will open many doors for me and I’ve gained a sense of accomplishment from doing them.

What skills will you take away from your apprenticeship?
Loads really! I’ve improved my communication skills by working with many people to solve any issues that may occur. Also, I’ve learned to prioritise. I’ll often have loads of jobs going on at the same time so the ability to know the best order to do things in is a must.

How has this process helped you grow and develop?
For one thing, it has made me more confident. When I first started my apprenticeship, I was only 16 and very quiet. But over the years, this programme has helped me develop my confidence and has given me an in-depth view into the world of work, which was quite eye opening. It’s changed me as a person and how I interact with people.

Do you have any advice for those aspiring to do an apprenticeship in Mechanical Engineering?
Make sure to do your research and investigate. You’re more likely to be successful if you come into your apprenticeship with some background knowledge in engineering.

What do you like to do outside of work?
Anything that allows me to push myself and see what my limits are.  I often go to the gym where I do weight and circuit training. I also like rock climbing, go kart racing, shooting and working with my computer to see how well I can get it to perform.

What’s something people might not know about you?
That I’m more adventurous than people perceive me to be. I’m planning to go skydiving later this year, which I’ve dreamed of since I was a kid. I’ve always wanted to jump out of a plane and to feel the sensation of soaring through the air.