Name: Sarah Kuzbyt
Qualification: Level 2 Mechanical Manufacturing Engineering – Intermediate Apprenticeship
Sarah Kuzbyt Engineering Apprentice Coca Cola

Women into Engineering

Sarah has now completed her level 2 intermediate Apprenticeship in Mechanical Manufacturing at the Sidcup plant of Coca-Cola European Partners Great Britain (CCEP). This apprenticeship has not only allowed Sarah to upskill from her old role as a Fork Lift Driver, but she has also achieved a “highly commended” classification in the 2017 National BTEC Engineering Student of the Year awards. A great achievement! IPS caught up with Sarah just before she had qualified to see how her training has helped. Sarah is waiting to go into her new role for which she trained and in the meantime, is gaining more experience in Engineering at the CCEP Sidcup Plant.

Sarah’s story;

“I’ve always been interested in Engineering and I originally moved to the South East to complete my level 2 and 3 BTEC in Electrical installation and I got a job with CCEP as a Fork Lift Driver. I found out about apprenticeships on offer at CCEP and decided to apply. CCEP are building a new Automated Warehouse Storage Retrieval System (ASRS) and wanted to use the opportunity to upskill existing employees. Because of the upskilling objective, CCEP made four new apprenticeship positions available. I applied, went through the assessment and interview process and was one of the lucky four chosen, along with Andrew Mayne, Anthony Berger and Darren Challis.”

“I really enjoyed the BTEC, going into the IPS training centre one day a week was good to get the practical training and the theory behind things and then to work with the engineering team at my workplace to gain the NVQ. Everyone was supportive and the tutors at IPS were brilliant. They would sit down with us and go through questions and problems we made them aware off and they did this with all their many other students. The training was flexible in the sense that we were told could continue our regular jobs while gaining the qualification, so if a learning day fell on a day we had to be at work we would come to IPS instead, but if a day fell on a day we have off work we would still have to come into IPS, so it worked both ways. We got paid our full wage to do our job and do the training that will benefit us in the long run, so it was good. “

“I have recently started a new position and have been working in the factory with the engineering team and will be for the next 5 months while the Warehouse is still being built, and I can go into my new role of ASRS Technician which I have trained for. I’ve gained so much knowledge and have been putting the skills we have learnt at IPS, not just in the BTEC and NVQ but also the short courses we have done, into practice. The skills we have learnt at IPS have been invaluable when applied in the workplace and I don’t feel I’m walking into anything blind.”

“During the training, for the entire year we have being doing our BTEC and NVQ we have also had additional short courses. We have done bearings, slinging and lifting, hand tools, measuring tools, five electrical modules and will be doing gear boxes soon. Coca-Cola outlined the skills they wanted us to acquire and IPS then came back to us with a package that included everything. This was the BTEC, NVQ, and the short courses included as one, so they were really accommodating.”

“My career goals are to continue Engineering and next year I would like to do my Level 3 with IPS. I would also like to focus more on the electrical side next, which I’m really excited about. From my experience, there have not been many women in Engineering until recently but I think it’s great that there attempts to change this. I would highly recommend apprenticeships, I went to University at 22 and obtained a degree because apprenticeships were not widely available, but I feel apprenticeships give you more, they are great for gaining experience and skills while in education which you don’t get with a degree. If I was talking to a school leaver I would recommend an apprenticeship.”

In addition to this Sarah achieved the Coca-Cola Adult Apprentice Award at the IPS International Annual Engineering awards this year and was also highly commended in the 2017 National BTEC Engineering Student of the Year awards, a great achievement!

Sarah is on an employer fully funded apprenticeship and this should not be confused with a statutory apprenticeship.

IPS would like to congratulate Sarah; for her achievements as a woman engineer and wish her all the best in her progression and her forthcoming new role as an ASRS Technician! All the best Sarah!

IPS greatly encourage women in Engineering. If you would like more information on our Engineering Apprenticeships, please click here:

If you would like to find out more about IPS’s apprenticeships in Engineering, please call 01634 298800