Name: Andrew Lawson
Job role: Trainee Maintenance Technician
Andrew started the five-year scheme in September 2006 and is currently working in the plant’s unit shop while completing the final year of his Foundation Degree. Andrew has achieved excellent results for his academic work as well as his practical on-the-job training and was judged ‘outstanding’ in his last appraisal.
Andrew is following in the footsteps of father Graham, who is a supervisor in the NMUK Body Shop, while younger brother James has recently signed up to his own Trainee Maintenance Technician apprenticeship.
He said: “I work in unit shop where axles and engines are made. I work on any day-to-day facility breakdowns, overhaul equipment and undertake scheduled maintenance; it all helps to keep the production line moving.
“I’m coming to the end of my apprenticeship, and my immediate plan is to pass my skills test and stay at Nissan for the foreseeable future. I’ve enjoyed being an apprentice: I’ve gained good experience working on line which backs up what I’ve learned at college, I enjoy shift work and earn a good wage.
“I’ve also learned that if you stick in and are willing to do the work, then everyone is very helpful and supportive.”
Andrew has just been named Nissan Sunderland Plant’s Trainee Maintenance Technician of the Year for 2011.
Damian Wheeler, 40, also from Seaham, joined as an apprentice in 1987 at the age of 16 and is now a Senior Supervisor in Maintenance.
He said: “I joined Nissan straight from school, in the second year intake of maintenance trainees. The appeal of an engineering apprenticeship with Nissan, for me, was to continue with my further education in a vocation with the prospect of a real job at the end of it – that, and also getting paid at the same time.
“Nissan has not only given me excellent technical skills, but also provided the structure and backdrop to grow on a personal level.”