Building the Future – Aish Technologies apprenticeships

During National Apprenticeship Week 2021, we spoke to two ex-apprentices who have come through the Aish scheme and are now full-time employees with us.

The theme of this year’s National Apprenticeship Week is how companies can use apprentices to build for the future and ensure that individuals are given the skills to be able to have an impact on their business and are equipped for their future careers.

Owen Hales embodies the philosophy of providing apprentices with life skills to enable them to flourish in a place of work. Having joined Aish straight from school at the age of 16 (he came to the initial interview in his school uniform), Owen is now an assistant Project Manager, having undertaken a four-year apprenticeship.

He was attracted to Aish as they “were a local engineering company and made really cool products”. Having undertaken a first year of study at Bournemouth and Poole college, whilst working for Aish during school holidays, Owen took his Level 3 National Diploma of Engineering working within the mechanical assembly department at Aish.

I learnt so many skills” Owen says, “including time management, teamwork and how to work by myself to get jobs done.” Owen was appointed a mentor who he could go to for advice, but always found support from other team members. Having finished his Level 3, he then moved into working full time within mechanical assembly to complete his apprenticeship. During his final year, he was offered a six-month secondment to a specific area of the business, where he was responsible for checking mechanical kits before they were despatched to customers. This secondment gave him valuable experience and bought him to the attention of senior managers, who then encouraged Owen to apply for his current role.

Throughout my apprenticeship I was keen to make myself heard, and the company encouraged me at every stage. Training was always available if needed, and I never felt I was left alone. Despite some changes within the company over the years, the HR team were constantly there to provide support, and everyone I have worked with has treated me as an equal.

The transition from apprentice to full time employee was very easy for me, with a vacancy becoming open for the role I wanted at the right time. At Aish, it is a relatively small group of apprentices taken on each year, however that means they can all be given the same amount of attention and so we all secured jobs with the company when our schemes finished.


Matt Sheffield undertook a slightly different route through the Aish apprenticeship scheme, but also ended up with fantastic experience and a role in the department he was keen to join from the start. Matt’s primary interest was electrical engineering, but he joined Aish, like Owen, because he was impressed with the company and the industries they operated in.

Having completed his first year at college, Matt then undertook a Level 3 sub diploma qualification. Midway through his second year and after discussions with the company, he moved from the Manufacturing department into the Engineering ‘Drawing Office’ to focus on his passion for electronic design. He continued there as an apprentice for the remaining two years and took an HNC qualification in years three and four.

I knew electrical engineering was what I really wanted to do” Matt says, “and so I made my feelings known at an early point, and the company was brilliant in helping me to realise my wishes. What I really appreciated was the opportunity Aish gave me to concentrate on an area of design, even though I was still an apprentice. Having spoken to apprentices from other engineering companies, I am so grateful to Aish for their flexibility and support.

Matt continues “in the Drawing Office, even though I was still an apprentice, I was treated as one of the team with all the other full-time staff and could access training whenever it was needed. I had an official mentor but to be honest everyone was my mentor as we all worked so closely together.” And Matt’s contribution to the business was recognised with an award of Apprentice of the Year.

An apprenticeship scheme is very much about providing life skills for younger people, and Matt in particular recognises how his experience as an Aish apprentice helped him. He comments “I moved from a person of study to a working person, dealing with real-life problems and learning to communicate effectively with other people. I was focussed on learning as much as I could, but there were opportunities to make a real impact in the business, which for an apprentice is fantastic.

Having transitioned from apprentice to Junior Electrical Design Engineer, what advice would Matt give to apprentices starting out at Aish today? His answer is straightforward: “Work hard, enjoy what you do and strive to be the best.


If you would like to know more about the Aish apprenticeship scheme, please contact Natalie Tooley on LinkedIn or email


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