Less than two years ago, Shropshire teenager Sean Yapp was living and studying on the other side of the world.
Now he’s back in his home county, and looking forward to a great career with one of Telford’s big-name international businesses.
Sean, 18, from Randlay, moved out to Australia with his family shortly after completing his GCSEs at Abraham Darby School.
When he returned home in March last year, he contacted Telford College of Arts and Technology about the possibility of an apprenticeship, and was taken on by commercial kitchen and food service equipment maker Hoshizaki.
The company, on the Stafford Park industrial estate, was so impressed with Sean’s work that they gave him a permanent post in the quality department as an advanced apprentice.
Sean said he had wanted work experience – and a qualification to support it – when he returned from Australia, and felt the Business Administration level two apprenticeship through TCAT was the perfect solution.
“I knew it was an employable subject, and would strengthen my chances in the world of work,” he said.
During his first year at Hoshizaki, Sean rotated around the business, from customer service training to business administration. But it was his time in the quality department that he particularly enjoyed; getting a hands-on role in the company’s parts and processes.
Sean said he couldn’t believe his luck when he was offered a position within the department, and praised the support he received from Hoshizaki in identifying the areas he enjoyed, and recognising his strengths.
He said: “I would definitely recommend the apprenticeship route, and would like to thank everyone involved for their continued help and support.
“The skills that you gain and develop in the workplace cannot be taught in a classroom – you really need to understand how a business works and how it relates in a real workplace environment.
“An apprenticeship isn’t easy. Balancing work and coursework can be quite challenging, but I had the full support of the teams, both at work and at TCAT.”
David Munn, Quality Manager at Hoshizaki, said: “I firmly believe that the Business Administration level two apprenticeship is a great way for any young person to build the skills needed in business.
“Its mix of academic teaching and work place experience is invaluable in developing the range of skills required by an employer.
“Sean was able to gain experience in many departments and it became clear that his attitude and aptitude in the quality department met the requirements needed in this challenging area of the business.
“We were very happy to offer Sean the opportunity to further his career at Hoshizaki Europe Ltd with a full time role.”
Hayley Corbett, Apprenticeship Recruitment Manager at TCAT said: “We are so proud of everything Sean has achieved during his apprenticeship.
“This has been due to his positive and committed attitude towards working life, gaining skills employers need and his own want to achieve and develop his career.
“Sean has also found this achievable with a good support network around him with his family, Hoshizaki and the college.
“We know that Sean has a bright future ahead of him with a supportive company and a wealth of skills to take him forward into his engineering apprenticeship within the quality department.”
Outside of work, keen sportsman Sean is also starting to help out at Bridgnorth Rugby club in a coaching capacity, volunteering with the under 14 and under 15 teams.