KAREN WILLIAMS –
SEWING DEPARTMENT MANAGER
In 2003 Karen started working at Newton Commercial as a sewing machinist. In her own words Karen has always enjoyed working with her hands and being creative, and the challenge of creating a car seat for a classic car really intrigued her.
Written by Karen;
"It was a delight to find myself working in such a friendly environment with good skills training and an opportunity to advance yourself and learn more skills with drive and ambition.
After a few years I approached Jonathan Newton and said I wanted to expand my knowledge and learn other aspects of the business. The first task I was given was to spend time in each department to learn new skills, which was an amazing experience. I then co-ran wind stop development and in 2010 I took my first apprenticeship in Industrial Application. With Jonathan as my mentor, I then became floor manager with two departments.
Again in 2014 I took another apprenticeship, this time in Intermediate level team leader and business skill sector and I now oversee four departments with a total of 20 staff. I have had the opportunity to do other courses and I am also a first aider. My other duties include work distribution, making sure orders go to the correct departments at the right time, all the way to the packing department, sorting out working hours, holidays and preparing the time sheets for the office, and organising the summer fun day for the whole company. I enjoy my job immensely and feel very proud of what I have achieved so far…who knows what the future may hold."
We asked Karen for some feedback on her apprenticeship.
- What did you learn from your apprenticeship?
I have learnt from my apprenticeship many different aspects of working environment, taking into consideration knock on effects from one department to another, health and safety, and staff consideration. I feel it has helped me into the role that I hold today as a manager.
I have completed a number of training courses including:
- Performing manufacturing operations
- Key skills
- Computer skills
- How was your experience at Newton Commercial as an apprentice?
I have had a lot of backing, but also had free range to experience other departments. I was given a challenge from Jonathan Newton to revamp the kitchen area, working with feedback from my colleagues. It was a great experience and taught me a lot about being a leader and team building.
- What happened at the end of your apprenticeship?
I am now a manager at Newton Commercial. I run a sewing team of 14 people, 2 seat fitters, the welding team and I also over see the packing department and the cleaner. Part of my team also work in the development department. I have many management responsibilities including helping with time sheets, organising summer parties and spec sheet development. I feel the courses I have taken, and the encouragement from the senior management team has made me into the manager I am today.