Our Sales Director, Neil, is a cheap date. We offered him a penny for his thoughts having been part of the family for a few months now. He was happy to have a chat and reminisce about the changes in industry over his career.

He said: ‘I have just returned from the Advanced Engineering show in Birmingham and continue to be amazed at the incredible technology. My training on the tools meant that a hammer and an oily rag were the best items to fix a problem, but today the solutions are remarkable. 3D laser scanning is stunning and delivers great results for both new and legacy products. Additive manufacturing however still wins the day for me, the full-size cars are awesome!’

On Apprenticeships, Neil was keen to share his admiration of our scheme here. Our Degree Apprenticeship has seen coverage in national press and, more importantly, provided jobs and training to eight colleagues in North Devon.

“I hadn’t really understood the huge opportunity the Apprenticeship program offers to people in the office environment. No longer is the Apprentice the unskilled willing labourer, odd job person, tea maker or general dogs’ body. Today the Apprenticeship program leads to a degree via a mix of almost full-time work and part time study.

It is an amazingly good way to get a degree, huge amounts of work experience and hopefully none of the debt from university fees, accommodation and living expenses. I am certainly not against the traditional university-based route, but for some this just does not work.

Here at Applegate we have now got 8 people going through the apprenticeship programme and I have to say that we have an amazingly talented group working for us. They are doing some very important work in sales, marketing, IT, Customer service and finance.

Back in the day when I did my apprenticeship in the Merchant Navy, I spent most of my time doing menial tasks and being used as everyone’s gopher. Today nothing has changed except the apprentices are telling me what needs to be done!”

We welcome Neil Packman to our team at an exciting time for Applegate and look forward to his fresh approach to Sales, helping our suppliers achieve more than ever.

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