Aup me' duck! We have all heard it at some point or another! We love our local routes here at PM Training and we want to show a few insights into the importance of being an apprentice.
You may not realise that some famous individuals were born and raised in Stoke-on-Trent who went on to be incredibly successful. Some of which started their lives as an apprentice.
In 1744, a young boy called Josiah Wedgewood, born in Burslem, became the apprentice of his brother Thomas. He unfortunately developed smallpox at the age of 11 and had to have his right leg amputated. However, he was able to read, research and experiment with the art of being a master potter! He followed his family routes after the death of his father and pursued a career in pottery. He developed his own style of jasperware which we all know today, the famous bright blue!
Josiah Wedgewood started off as a young apprentice in Stoke, and ended up being one of the most famous master potters in the world. His pottery is still thriving today and the factory sits in Barlaston, Stoke-on-Trent. It's important to know that being an apprentice can help you become incredibly successful, no matter what your background or where you are from.
Another famous apprentice we have from Stoke-on-Trent is John Caudwell. He was originally born in Birmingham but moved to Shelton in Stoke, as a baby with his family. John became an apprentice after dropping out of his A Level studies. He gained his apprenticeship with the French Tyre manufacturer Michelin.
He trained as an engineering foreman and gained a HNC in mechanical engineering.
John loved being hands on with his apprenticeship and wanted to gain success working for himself. He discovered a trend in the new and 'revolutionary' mobile phone. Him and his brother came up with their own business buying mobile phones and selling them on. Suffering financial loss the first 2 years, they persevered and became a wholesale distributor - Phones4U.
They went from a staggering £3million in 1991 to over £1billion turnover in 2000.
They became the largest independent distributor of mobile phones. John sold the company for £1.47billion in 2006 and still works closely with his personal charity Caudwell Children, changing the lives of disabled children all over the UK.
Our final apprentice in our local exploration was one of the most famous who, without his training as an apprentice, may have lost us the war.
Reginald J. Mitchell was born in Butt Lane, Kidsgrove, on the outskirts of Stoke-on-Trent. He moved to Longton in his childhood and trained as an apprentice for a local locomotives firm in Fenton. Here, he gained the skills and training in engineering that would change his life.
After finishing his apprenticeship he applied for a position at the Supermarine Aviation Works in Southampton. Only 3 years after starting his job with the company he became chief engineer and designer. From 1928 till his death in 1937 he was director of the company.
During the second world war, Britain needed a plane that had: Speed, Firepower and Manoeuvrability.
During the Battle of Britain, Germany had a huge army of Luftwaffe fighters. Britain had to produce thousands of Spitfires and Hurricanes.
With the knowledge and creation of the Spitfire, Britain won the Battle of Britain.
His legacy today lives on and we are fortunate enough to have an incredibly rare, original Spitfire still on display in The Potteries Museum, Hanley.
Remember, apprenticeships can be the kick start you need to gain the skills and experience to live your dream or start your own business. No matter what your background is or where you are from.
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