Millie Hunt

Millie Hunt is a Multiskilled/Mechatronics Maintenance Engineer Apprentice at Britvic.

After hearing about the opportunity at her school’s careers fair, Millie started the four-year apprenticeship at Britvic’s Rugby site when she was 16 years old. She works to solve breakdowns on the production lines and actively take part in preventative maintenance work, as well as assisting on larger ongoing improvement projects.

What advice would you give to someone looking to start their apprenticeship journey?

I would recommend that you spend time researching the scheme you want to apply to, getting to know the company and what they do as this will help you in the interview stage. As with any interview, I’d definitely suggest trying to showcase any experience or work you have done relating to the apprenticeship and the desired skills. For my particular apprenticeship, this was skills such as problem solving and teamwork which are essential as an engineer.

It’s also key that that you choose a company where you will feel comfortable. After visiting a few different businesses and comparing them, I found Britvic’s working environment friendly and welcoming, and the work they had to offer seemed interesting. I had also been advised by relatives that know of previous employees that it was a good company to work for. This gave me the passion to work there, which I think came through in the application process.

My biggest piece of advice would be don’t be put off at the thought of starting something completely new. If you don’t have any experience, then that won’t hold you back. The whole point of an apprenticeship is that you will learn everything you need to know throughout the programme. I can say from experience at Britvic, all that is expected is a positive willing attitude and interest in the industry you’re going into. I also think it’s important to always take notice and congratulate yourself on the progress you are making. This is effectively a learning process so don’t put too much pressure on yourself and try to enjoy the experience!

What skills do you believe you have gained from your apprenticeship? How has your apprenticeship benefited you?

There is so much opportunity to learn as there are so many complex processes that play a part in the manufacturing of the products at Britvic. The fast-paced environment on such a large production site means there is always something to be getting on with and I’ve certainly learned how to deal well under pressure.

But along with the technical skills and knowledge I have gained through college and working onsite, my apprenticeship has also benefited me in other ways. I have learnt social skills and know how to communicate and work professionally with a variety of different people. I have also learnt more non-work-related life skills such as how to manage my money from a young age. Personally, starting my apprenticeship at 16 as the youngest engineer at Britvic was a huge challenge but it has made me much more confident, which has been one of the biggest benefits for me.

Millie Hunt

What inspired you to choose an apprenticeship over other forms of education?

What attracted me the most was the opportunity to learn ‘on the job’ in a working environment, which allows you to gain first-hand experience in the role which simply isn’t possible from a classroom. However, you are still also gaining all the theory you would be at a regular college, sixth form or university by attending college and gaining four qualifications at the same time. As you are employed fulltime you are also getting paid for doing all of this which was another added benefit!

What have you had the opportunity to do/what have you learnt that you wouldn’t have otherwise?

My apprenticeship has given me lots of exciting opportunities and taken me to some amazing places! I have had the opportunity to be a part of the project for a new canning production line that Britvic introduced, from initial planning to installing and commissioning. This included travelling to Germany for a pre-delivery inspection of some of the machinery. My apprenticeship has also given me the chance to take part in many events to promote females in engineering including International Women’s Day, something I’m proud of. I have also been able to take part in careers events to promote the apprenticeship scheme and help young people who are unsure about the next steps they want to take in their career. I will actually be representing Britvic engineering in the Food Matters: Inspiring Careers in Food live event in London on the 8th February, where I’ll be sharing my own experience of an apprenticeship in food and drink.