Apprenticeship ‘catalyst for career in engineering’ for Renishaw director
Former Gloucestershire College apprentice, Kevin Gani, says his apprenticeship was the catalyst for developing his career in engineering, which has led him all the way up to the International Sales and Marketing board at Renishaw, as the engineering world leader’s Sales Development Director.
Kevin, from Gloucester, achieved his BTEC First, ONC and HNC in Mechanical Engineering at Gloucestershire College from 1988 to 1993, whilst starting his career as an apprentice at Lucas Industries. The former Sir Thomas Rich’s school pupil decided to choose an apprenticeship over the traditional sixth form and university route as he felt it offered better long-term career opportunities, with a structured learning path in a five-year programme.
Kevin said: “From an early age I had a passion for engines, cars and understanding how products are made. I often took things to pieces just to see how they were made. Lucas Industries manufactured products for the automotive sector and this influenced my decision heavily.”
During his time as an apprentice, Kevin achieved the highest grades in his classes and he also won the Student of the Year Award for his BTEC First in Engineering. Over the course of the five years he learnt many skills, including CNC, small batch production, tool design, product development, assembly and test, quality, purchasing and sales and marketing.
He said: “The list of skills I acquired were endless, however the highlights were the ability to learn from others, communicate, work in teams and develop products that went into applications such as the High Speed Train (HST) and the Thames barrier.
“My apprenticeship was the catalyst for developing a career in both engineering and non-engineering businesses. The skills and competences acquired during my apprenticeship helped me to develop a strong foundation and work ethic that underpin how I operate at work today. Attitude to work is key for any employer and I learnt this at a very early point in my career.”
Upon successful completion of his apprenticeship, Kevin became a research analyst, marketing coordinator and business planner, before moving to Hamworthy Engineering in 1997 as a Product Specialist, selling high end air compressor systems into the oil and gas markets.
In 1999 he became an Account Manager for Delphi Diesel, before leaving the industry for 10 years to work for a high service level distributor, managing teams and high value corporate accounts. He then returned to engineering and took up the role of Business Manager at Renishaw in 2011 and was promoted to Director of Sales Development a year later; he now leads commercial development projects across the world for the company.
A champion of apprenticeships also, Renishaw currently employs 124 apprentices to help meet increasing demands to fill engineering roles in areas such as manufacturing and research and development. It is recruiting a further 45 young people this year. Apprentices continue to develop lifelong careers in the organisation, with many of its directors having also chosen the apprenticeship route.
Kevin added: “I would recommend an apprenticeship within a given field as it provides a structured learning path where you can learn in a safe environment and be guided by other, more experienced people. Apprentices are the employees of the future and the investment made by any company is significant. Therefore an apprenticeship is a collaborative engagement between a person and a company, where both parties gain.”
Gloucestershire College is the title sponsor for the Apprentice 1000 campaign and the leading provider of apprenticeships in the county; currently working with over 650 local businesses to train 976 apprentices across 19 industry areas.
Those interested in following in Kevin’s footsteps as an apprentice can view and apply for apprenticeship vacancies online at www.gcapprenticeships.co.uk