Recently celebrating being nominated as Apprentice Employer of the Year and having being accepted as national ambassadors for the apprenticeship programme. Prodieco are proud to see that their hard work and dedication to their apprenticeship programme has paid off. Mary Bracken, Human Resources, Prodieco explains ‘it’s an honour to be accepted as ambassadors for the programme. Being chosen as an ambassador for apprenticeship programmes in Ireland provides Prodieco with a fantastic opportunity to join other business leaders to support talent and co-operate for growth. Shared expertise among fellow ambassadors acts as a platform to encourage innovation, strengthen links and generate new ideas within and across industry sectors. In addition we are very pleased to receive a nomination for Apprentice Employer of the Year. As a company we pride ourselves in our dedication to all our employees, training and development of a successful team is imperative and a lot of time has been afforded to developing an apprenticeship programme at Prodieco which goes above and beyond the national framework.’
With this in mind we caught up with Colm Fleming who is in year 1 of his four year Mechanical Automation and Maintenance Fitting with Prodieco. He told us all about a day in the life of an apprentice with Prodieco and what it’s really like to be part of a team of experts in global blister tooling design and manufacturing.
What is your role at Prodieco?
I am an apprentice Mechanical Automation and Maintenance Fitter. I began my apprenticeship with Prodieco in June this year. The work of the Mechanical Automation and Maintenance Fitter involves plant and machinery installation, maintenance and repair, replacement of broken or worn parts, adjustment and servicing.
The work also involves fabrication of replacement parts using machine tools i.e. lathes, milling machines, grinders etc. Components may have to be repaired or fabricated using welding, brazing, riveting and soldering techniques. Machines and processes also involve integration of computer, electronic and programmable control systems with mechanical/ hydraulic, pneumatic systems e.g. PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers), CNC (Computer Numerical Control), Robots and CIM (Computer Integrated Manufacturing).
What does a typical day look like for you?
I start my day at 6.00am or 6:20 depending on how many times I press the snooze button on my alarm which is usually a few times ☺ I have my breakfast porridge with almond milk, heated and topped with honey and either blueberries or grapes.
I leave to go to work at 6:45am and I take my bike and always arrive at 6:55. I live only 5 minutes from Prodieco but its true how the saying goes “the closer you live to work, the later you’ll always be”. I am never late for work but must admit I often stay in bed as long as I possibly can before getting up for work. I am lucky in that I really enjoy my job so once I am up, the worst part of my day is over!
At 7:00am I clock in and get myself a quick cup of coffee then I go to my bench and prepare myself for the day by organising my tools and checking to see what jobs I have to assemble for the day. Sometimes there will be training on the agenda as I am learning. I really enjoy the training aspect of my apprenticeship as there is always something new and interesting to learn.
During the morning I usually work on jobs which get me used to using the tools or prepare tools for other workers and watch how they work on them for training.
At 10:00am I go for my 15 minute tea break. Between 10:15am and 01:30pm is usually my busiest time I usually have my tasks set out around this time. The crack along with the advice and guidance given is what gets me through my day the most and helps my learning experience.
At 1:30pm I go for my lunch. I usually have pasta or rice along with chicken and a fruit bowl with it. I’ll end my meal with coffee the give me another kick for the last few hours of the day.
4:00pm is when I finish work, if it is not a Tuesday or Thursday I usually stay back an hour for overtime since it is handy for me to get home. If it’s a Tuesday or Thursday I go football training for Tallaght United at 6/7pm. If I’m not training football I make sure to try and go gym, if I’m feeling to tired or lazy I go on a cycle to get some type of exercise in. In the evening time I prepare my lunch for the next day and have my shower so I don’t have to stress about one in the morning.
8:30 is when I start to relax and play a bit of PlayStation or I go out for a drive with my mates to finish the day on a high note.
11:30 is when I tuck in to be ready for the next moody morning.
What interested you in joining Prodieco?
I was interested in joining Prodieco when I found out what the place is all about. My neighbour Andy Hughes, worked for Prodieco for over 40 years and told me about the work involved and the environment in the company. I’ve always liked being hands on and working in a practical environment. Andy had great things to say about Prodieco. I always think it’s a great testament to a company if they can retain their employees for long periods of time so for me it was a no brainer to apply for my apprenticeship here.
What do you like most about working for Prodieco?
I would have to say the thing I like most about working for Prodieco is my colleagues. I receive a lot of support and guidance which really improves my learning experience. Prodieco is also a very enjoyable place to work. People work hard but enjoy what they do. The crack in the work place keeps me entertained and makes it easier to be more enthusiastic for the day ahead.
What do you find most challenging about your apprenticeship?
Prodieco have a very quick lead time on customer orders and time is of the essence. When I first started it was hard to balance the time constraints with quality. However I have learned quickly and have managed to develop the skills to ensure the highest quality output within the time constraints. It’s a great skill to have.
What advice would you give to anyone considering applying for an apprenticeship?
It is a learning experience that will benefit your future. The trade you chose to do will have you qualified to work around the world. You learn a lot about yourself and how to adapt to a work environment a lot earlier in your life compared to most going to college. It also helps that you get paid while you are doing your apprenticeship. This is something that you wouldn’t get if you took the traditional college route.
What do you like to do outside of work to maintain a healthy work life balance?
When I am not in work I like to focus on the activities that keep me entertained such gym, cycling or running, football, driving or just being out with mates. I think it’s important to maintain a healthy liftstyle and to have a range of activities that benefit you both mentally and physically. Prodieco is great as it promotes a healthy work lift balance. I usually work 7am – 4pm Monday to Thursday and 7am – 12pm on Friday so there is plenty of time to take part in hobbies outside of work.
Thanks for talking to us Colm. We wish you all the very best with your apprenticeship.
If you’re looking to see if Prodieco has an apprenticeship that may suit you please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.