Success Story: From Apprentice to Company Director

by Brandon Medical

February 2, 2019

Mike Rimmer (FMM), Brandon Medical’s Operations Director is one of many apprenticeship success stories – Rimmer started his career as a Chemical Analyst Apprentice – and now, years on, is carrying on the torch and the passion for British manufacturing, by supporting and actively promoting Leeds Manufacturing Festival. If you are interested to find out more about Brandon Medical apprentice program, please read more

Brandon Medical’s Operation Director, Mike Rimmer, comments on the value of manufacturing and engineering apprenticeships and how they have shaped, both his career and how the team at Brandon has developed: “Ever since Eric and Graeme Hall acquired Brandon Medical in 1993, apprenticeships have been at the core of our approach to developing new talent and we have actively recruited and trained apprentices throughout this time. We recruit for apprenticeships in different parts of our business such as manufacturing assembly, business, marketing, R&D, CNC machining, operations & IT. Currently, we have three apprentices on Business Management, IT and Digital Marketing programmes.”

“Manufacturing has been regarded by many as dated and its (inaccurate) image of dirty and noisy workplaces has made it increasingly difficult to attract new talent. To challenge these misconceptions, we have an open-door policy at Brandon Medical, where anyone interested in manufacturing can visit us and see for themselves what it is like day-to-day working in the sector and find out more about the exciting career opportunities that exist in manufacturing for the healthcare sector.”

“Manufacturing apprenticeships in the healthcare sector are important because without them we would struggle to attract the required skills from a shrinking skill base, so we need to grow our own talent instead. We attract new apprentices through bodies such as the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), the Lloyd’s Market Academy Apprenticeship Programme, University Technical Colleges, careers fairs and referrals from existing apprentices.”

“Leading medical technology companies such as Brandon Medical, need the best ideas, techniques and talent to compete on the global stage and for that reason we are one of the most active promoters of modern apprenticeships in the region. By opening up our state-of-the-art manufacturing premises to groups of young people to visit, they can see how manufacturing has changed and how it is at the forefront of technological revolution led by the Internet of Things. The huge organisational knowledge that we have among our current workforce must be passed on to younger talented individuals and they must be trained so that they can advance this further. We seek out ambitious and self-motivated apprentices with a hunger to learn and to make their contribution to improving patient care.”

“Our Executive Chairman of Board of Directors, Graeme Hall, started out as an apprentice and often reflects on the value of learning the trade hands-on and the special relationship between an apprentice and their tutor in terms of teaching beyond the trade and passing on the values of teamwork trust and work ethic. We have a very low staff turnover in general and our almost all of our former apprentices have progressed towards long-term careers at Brandon. Those former apprentices who have stayed in the business are making a considerable contribution to our company and those who have chosen a different path are still bringing value to the wider sector of manufacturing for healthcare – a sector which we are dedicated to supporting and strengthening.”

“Companies considering offering an apprenticeship programme must be fully committed to investing both time and resources as both are vital to the programme’s success. Our industry workforce is ageing and we must ensure that a lifetime of experience is passed on – a precious resource which can be only renewed by a new generation trained and dedicated to continue the great British engineering tradition.”

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