Robbie Sanderson joined the Gripple apprenticeship scheme in 2016. Robbie has since progressed to become a full-time engineer at our new, state of the art Norfolk Bridge Works factory in Sheffield.

To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, we asked Robbie a few questions about his time as an apprentice at Gripple.

What attracted you to the Gripple apprenticeship scheme?

I did two lots of work experience at Gripple during the holidays while at school. I really enjoyed it, got on with the people around me and was always learning.

When I was later asked if I would be interested in applying for the apprenticeship scheme, I of course said yes! I had always preferred a practical environment to classroom-based learning, so an engineering apprenticeship seemed the best route for me.

What do you think makes the Gripple apprenticeship scheme different to others out there?

There are lots of great opportunities which come with the Gripple apprentice scheme. Right from the start, you are learning and getting involved in ‘real’ engineering. I had the chance to work at four different Gripple manufacturing sites, which was great because it gave me a good understanding of how to do the job from various perspectives.

I was also lucky enough to have the opportunity to take part in the Raleigh International expedition. This involved spending a month in Tanzania working on a community project in a remote village with a team of other volunteers with no contact from the outside world. T It gave me chance to experience totally different challenges in a whole new environment. It was a fantastic experience and not one I imagine most apprentices get!

How did the apprenticeship prepare you for your permanent role at Gripple?

My Gripple apprenticeship really helped me prepare for my role. You are given responsibility at Gripple from day one carrying out tasks, managing your own  workload and taking a lead throughout. This was sometimes difficult to start with, but the level of responsibility and ownership gave me the confidence to just get on and get the job done!

I also had the chance to work at all sites and gather skills from a range of people which really helped my development.

How did your team make you feel welcome and support you?

All the team were (and still are!) very welcoming. The engineering and production teams were great, as was the whole business, to be honest. I was always kept motivated, both by having my skills tested and being pushed out of my comfort zone to being praised when tasks that needed doing were completed. I had regular catch-up meetings with my mentor, where we would review what I had done that week and look at my goals going forward. I found these really useful.  

Tags: Careers

Why use Gripple?

  • Significant time and cost savings on your project
  • Complete, off-site solutions which minimise health and safety concerns
  • Innovative, patented solutions designed by an in-house team of engineers
  • Considerable reductions in packaging, vehicle movements & embodied CO2
  • A range of support services at every stage of your project, provided by a dedicated technical team
  • Aesthetically pleasing solutions; lightweight and virtually invisible