Apprenticeships play an integral role at Sony UK TEC, helping to promote innovation and ensuring our industry remains progressive.
So, we’ve interviewed two of our highly successful apprentices to get the inside scoop on their experiences of working at one of Wales’s leading manufacturing sites.
Sony UK TEC Apprentices, Max Rochefort-Shugar and Scott Roberts have seen a great deal of success since joining the company.
Within the last year, Max has achieved the Engineering Apprentice: Rising Star Award at Make UK Wales and came runner-up for the same award in the national Make UK ceremony. The award looked at Max’s achievements throughout his apprenticeship and how his work directly impacts the processes within Sony UK TEC.
Meanwhile, Scott took part in Skills Competitions Wales, achieving a gold award, before going on to compete in WorldSkills UK Live and achieving an outstanding bronze award. Using skills developed throughout his apprenticeship and his time in Bridgend College, Scott applied this knowledge to a series of tests throughout the event.
Here, apprentices Max Rochefort-Shugar and Scott Roberts fill us in on an apprentice’s life at Sony UK TEC…
Max is a 22-year-old engineering apprentice from Cardiff. After suspending his studies at Swansea University, he decided it was time to apply his knowledge in a practical setting and search for an apprenticeship.
On his passion for technology and why an apprenticeship was the perfect choice for him, he said: “For me, the main appeal of an apprenticeship was the opportunity to study towards a qualification in a subject that I have a genuine interest in and then reinforce my knowledge by applying it in a professional environment.
“After completing my GCSE’s, I saved up enough money to build my first computer, which I used as a tool to teach myself about computer programming. This is where my passion for writing software began. What really excited me about the software industry was the endless amount of possibilities that can be achieved using computers.
“As I was studying towards my A-levels, I had already decided that I wanted to do an apprenticeship. For me to fully grasp a concept, I needed to apply it, which I knew an apprenticeship could offer me. During my time at St David’s College, I got involved with the EESW project which was being run by a mathematics teacher at the college. He supported me and my fellow classmates though our project, which aimed to help people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.”
This project further cemented his desire to apply for an apprenticeship. However, his initial apprenticeship application was sadly unsuccessful, and he decided to instead study Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Swansea University. After two semesters in University, he decided this course wasn’t for him, and fate intervened and set him on a path to Sony UK TEC.
“After suspending my studies, I had an informal chat with a friend of my parents who mentioned that Sony were recruiting Electronic and Mechanical Apprentices. During my interview at Sony, I made it clear that I was interested in Software Apprenticeships. Coincidentally, the engineers at Sony were in the process of developing a Software and Electronic Apprenticeship programme. I’ve been fortunate enough to be the first candidate for the Sony UK Technology Centre Software and Electronic Apprenticeship Scheme and have helped shape the future of the software apprenticeship’s that Sony UK TEC now offer.”
Since joining Sony UK TEC, Max has enjoyed unprecedented success, both within his role and beyond, the highlight of which was winning Make UK Wales’ Engineering Apprentice: Rising Star award.
On why an apprenticeship has enabled him to enjoy continued success, Max added: “My technical and non-technical skills have improved greatly thanks to the hard work of the company.
“As I am in my final year of my apprenticeship, I think it is fair to say that I now have a solid foundation in Software and Electronics, which has allowed me to make a really positive contribution to the company. I’m excited to see what the future holds for me at Sony.”
Fellow apprentice Scott Roberts also found the “on-the-job” learning opportunities attractive before applying.
The 17-year-old, from North Cornelly, joined Sony UK TEC after studying Information Technology at Bridgend College.
He was first exposed to the company as an intern, through a programme set up with Bridgend College. Since then, he applied for a Software and Electronics apprenticeship alongside other members of his course, and is delighted to be applying his knowledge at the facility while concentrating on studying Computing at Cardiff and Vale College as part of his apprenticeship.
He said: “During my time as an intern at Sony UK TEC, the Information Systems Department team encouraged me to apply for the apprenticeship program, and I began researching find out more about it.
“I thought the idea of an apprenticeship was really interesting, so I applied and I’m so glad I did as It has benefitted me by providing me with a sense of direction and the start of my career after finishing my studies at Bridgend College.
“It has been invaluable in allowing me to learn and develop on-the-job practical skills which I would be unlikely to pick up in university.”
Still in the first year of his apprenticeship, since joining Scott has also enjoyed a great deal of success and become a highly valued member of the Information Systems Department team. He’s been a crucial part of Sony UK TEC’s site-wide PC upgrade project
Regarding his time at Sony, Scott said: “I have significantly improved my confidence. In the past, this has been the biggest stumbling block for me, so I am glad to finally be overcoming this.”
This sentiment has been echoed by his team and those who work closely with Scott.
“I have also developed a variety of skills since joining, many of which are integral to my role, including writing code in brand-new programming languages.
“The main area I have seen improvement in is problem-solving, which has allowed me to tackle the day-to-day challenges with relative ease.”
Max and Scott work alongside almost thirty other apprentices and a number of experienced engineers at Sony UK TEC, helping with the day-to-day maintenance and improvements of systems across the site.
Sony UK TEC has now launched its engineering recruitment scheme for 2020. To apply send your cover letter and CV to PencoedVacancies@sony.com. Use the phrase 'Apprenticeship Programme Application' as your email subject.