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#NAW2024 – Life Beyond Apprenticeships

Meet Gavin.

Shepley Group Managing Director

“If you have the drive and ambition, there’s no limit to the opportunities available within Shepley and an exciting career in engineering.”

This National Apprenticeship Week we’re highlighting some of our staff who have completed apprenticeships with us, and where they are today. Meet Gavin Jakubowski, Shepley Group Managing Director. Learn more about what drove him to an apprenticeship, and what advice he would give to people thinking about starting an apprenticeship.

What was your apprenticeship in?

I joined Shepley Engineers in 1995 as part of my ECITB pipefitting apprenticeship site
placement. I completed my apprenticeship while working on the Thorp reprocessing plant
contract, gaining invaluable experience working on some highly complex Engineering

What made you choose an apprenticeship?

From an early age, my fascination for understanding the intricate mechanics behind everyday objects ignited a passion in Engineering. My favourite subjects in school were design technology and metalwork, which fuelled my desire to pursue a career that blended both aspects. Recognising the value of a strong foundation, I  saw the mechanical trade apprenticeship route as a pivotal step on the ladder and entry into the field of Engineering Construction.

We are extremely lucky to live in this part of the UK and what also helped with my decision to choose an engineering apprenticeship was our location to two prominent engineering hubs, knowing that these would provide the opportunities to build experience and allow me to advance a life long career in engineering.

What did you do following your apprenticeship? 

Shepley gave me the opportunity to further my career and fully supported me working towards a HND in Mechanical Engineering, followed by a Bachelor of Science Honours Degree in Project Management at Leeds University. Along with the academic development, my role within the site delivery team advanced through Supervisor and Project Engineer, working on Thorp before moving into High Level Waste plants where I was promoted to Project Manager. I was given the opportunity to lead the Mechanical team on the Evaporator D project, which at the time was Europe’s largest Nuclear construction project, before moving to MSSS as a Senior Project Manager.

How did your apprenticeship help you?

The skills and experience gained over my 25+ years with Shepley has been fundamental in the latest advance in my career to Managing Director for the Shepley Group which I moved into in early 2022. This is testament to Shepley’s commitment in developing young individuals into Engineering Professionals, providing the support, training and the building blocks to progress from an Apprentice to a Director of the group. My case isn’t unique, the majority of our Engineering & Management team have followed a similar route and advanced from apprentices and tradespeople.

What would you say to anybody thinking of an apprenticeship?

If you have the drive and ambition, there’s no limit to the opportunities available within Shepley and an exciting career in Engineering.

Want to know more?
Read more about our apprenticeships or check out our careers page

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