Interview with Jon Warburton, Apprentice at GSK

Written by: Natacha Cullinan
Published on: 27 Oct 2020

Name: Jon Warburton

Title: Apprentice Engineer

Company: GSK

Sector: Electromechanical Engineering


What inspired you to apply for the apprenticeship?

I didn’t know too much about apprenticeships until I started looking into what I could do instead of going to college or sixth form. It seemed like the perfect option for me: learning at a skills centre and learning on the job at an industrial factory. It meant I was able to learn skills and utilise them. 


Where did you see it advertised?


I saw the scheme advertised on the government apprenticeship website, as well as on GSK’s dedicated apprenticeships website. 


What was the application process like? Did you attend an interview? How long did it take?


The application process started with an online application and online tests, which were followed by an assessment centre that included an interview and tasks to complete. From beginning to end, it took about four months.


What does a typical day look like? Who do you work most closely with, and what sort of tasks do you do?


I turn up at work at 07:00, get kitted up, and head to the engineers’ library to meet the other apprentices and engineers, before starting work. At 09:00, we stop work for breakfast, and then at 10:00, we head back to the library for the morning meeting, where engineering issues are raised and the undertaking of work is organised. We carry on work until 13:00, take our lunch break, then we carry on with the day’s task, finishing at 15:00.


What do you think you’ve learnt from your apprenticeship?


Many different skills! Both on the technical side, and on a wider level, skills that have supported my life experience. Technical skills include domestic wiring, shaft alignment, and machining. The life skills include First Aid training, action taking, and problem solving.


What advice would you give to people looking to apply?


Stay calm throughout the whole of the process, and try to be yourself and show your potential – you may think the smallest thing is not applicable, but it could help secure you the job.


What did you study at school?


Alongside the compulsory curriculum, I studied project design technology, computer programming, and ICT.


Did your parents influence your decision in any kind of way?


My father told me about GSK and their apprenticeships – at first I shrugged it off and thought nothing of it, but after looking into it in greater depth, I realised the brilliant opportunity it would give me, and more importantly, the skills I would end up with.


Did your parents have any reservations about apprenticeships at all?


No, not at all. My parents not only supported my decision in applying for apprenticeships, but pushed me to apply and also aided me with apprenticeship schemes I may have been interested in.