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Zara Hale, 18, from Biddulph in Stoke-On-Trent, is currently exceeding expectations at Churchill China working in the Stone Casting department as an apprentice. Zara started her journey on the construction skills pre-apprenticeship programme with Achieve Training after realising college was not for her. 

Starting her apprentice journey

While working on the pre-apprenticeship construction skills programme, Zara stated "I was trying all different trades such as painting and decorating, bricklaying, plastering and joinery. In the beginning, I was enjoying this as it gave me great insight into what it’s like working in all the different trades. But I wanted to get onto an apprenticeship."

Zara continues: "The inspiration for Lean Manufacturing came from a tour around Churchill China with Achieve Training. I never knew anything about the qualification, which gave me the push to apply for the vacancy at Churchill."

Zara applied for an apprenticeship vacancy at Churchill China in February 2022 while she was still on our pre-apprenticeship construction skills programme and was offered a 6-week trial. Churchill China soon realised Zara was a superstar offered her a position to become a full-time Lean Manufacturing apprentice.

Rising Star and working at Churchill China 

Olivia Darby, Director of Partnerships at Churchill China, explains how the company couldn’t wait to get Zara signed up for the Lean Manufacturing apprenticeship from the moment they interviewed her. 

Olivia says: “This was Zara’s first-ever interview, and we couldn’t believe it. She asked plenty of interesting questions around the Stone Casting department and told us all about herself and what she can bring to the business. We instantly thought Zara was brilliant and offered her a work trail, it was the senior management team that wanted Zara employed as an official apprentice as she was doing a fantastic job. She is only going to get better and is developing her skills even further and we can’t thank Achieve Training enough for putting forward such a fabulous young person."

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Zara's Journey

Zara has always had a creative mind, from a young age she did product design and photography at school, and she still enjoys photography as a hobby. Zara has already been praised by management and colleagues in the Stone Casting team for the work she has produced, and she is constantly developing her skills with support from the team. Zara explains "I enjoy coming into work every day knowing I’m coming into something I enjoy and will learn different skills that either could be with the cutting of the products or the colours to use on the designs."

Zara praises Achieve Training for giving her the right support and guiding her in the right direction. She says: "Anyone wanting to do the Lean Manufacturing apprenticeship then JUST GO FOR IT! You constantly learn new skills and don’t be put off thinking you will be stuck just doing the same thing all day, as this isn’t the case. You learn so many various skills within the sector."

If you'd like to follow in Zara's footsteps then check out our pre-apprenticeship programme in Construction Skills or browse our manufacturing apprenticeship vacancies here.

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