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 Andrew Jones. Andrew is a fourth-year Mechanical Engineering apprentice who has recently transferred from Product Development to Quality Assurance. 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.

Why did you want to work at Bisley?
The opportunity to join the company was too good to ignore. I was very impressed with the qualifications and experience they were offering and even thought it was too good to be true. So, when I saw all of this, I thought to myself “there’s no way I can miss this chance!”

Can you give me a summary of what you do?
I’m now part of the Quality Assurance department, so I make sure that our products are the best quality they can be when they reach final assembly. My job is to focus specifically on our pedestals; making continuous improvements to them, ensuring that production runs smoothly, that all parts of this product are assembled correctly and that the pedestals are at a high standard before they are sent to our warehouse. On occasions where there are issues, I’ll investigate and find the cause of this so we can guarantee our pedestal are perfect next time.

What is a typical day like for you?
Usually, I’ll come in and sit down at my desk to think of ideas to develop and enhance the pedestal so we can improve its performance even more. But then, without warning, I could be called out onto the shop floor to check the quality of the pedestals being produced that day. So, I can go from being in the office and working independently on a long-term project to going out to the factory to speak to people, measure things and provide any assistance that’s needed.

What’s it like to work and study at the same time?
When I’m at work, my job requires me to be constantly problem solving. And then after a busy day, I’ll have to go home and do an assignment. This can be quite tiring but you just have to make sure you structure your work, avoid procrastination and generally keep on top of it all. If you manage things well, it can be very rewarding.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given during your apprenticeship?
Ask as many questions as possible. There are always people around with lots of knowledge about what you’re working on. But, you need to make sure you actually ask for help if you need it so they know how to support you.

What’s your favourite Bisley product and why?
I really like Be, because it can be adapted in so many ways. I think it’s the future of soft furniture as well as storage because we’ve incorporated everything into this product. It’s gone from standard layout to being able to be used in every environment. I don’t think it wouldn’t go amiss in someone’s home!

What experience or achievement are you most proud of in your apprenticeship?
I would say I haven’t reached my “biggest achievement” yet. The pedestal project has been the largest project I’ve been faced with and it’s still ongoing, so that’s the goal I’m moving towards. It’s been a massive challenge throughout the past year, but when I complete it, I think it will be the best thing I’ve done in my time at Bisley so far and I’ll be very pleased with myself.

What skills will you take away from your apprenticeship?
I’ve become more decisive. I’m now at the point where I don’t have to ask many questions and feel confident completing tasks on my own.

If you were left in the woods with only the items in this room, what would you build?
*Looks around the room* Hmmm, well let’s see. We’ve got chairs and wheels, so there’s two options. I could either build something to sleep on with the chairs or I could build something similar to a go kart.

What do you like to do outside of work?
I’ve got two boys at home, so I spend a lot of time with them. I also like mountain biking and I play a lot of football.

Describe your perfect holiday.
I’m bored of beach holidays now. I want to go visit places where there’s more exciting things to do, I’ve so set myself a goal to visit every major city in Europe within the next five years. I can’t wait to see them all!