Electrical giant Ross sees a spark in Rob

11 October 2011

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An engineering student from Telford has been snapped up by leading electrical accessories manufacturer Ross, after proving his worth as an apprentice at the firm’s UK and China operations.

Rob Walker, 21, has been working for the past year as part of the firm's consumer product design team. Ross, part of the Nexus Industries Group, was so impressed by their newest apprentice that they have offered to sponsor him through his final year at university.

Nexus Industries is one of the largest electrical accessories manufacturers in the country, operating key businesses including Ross, BG Electrical Wiring Accessories, Masterplug Portable Power and Luceco LED Lighting. The firm currently employs around 250 people at its sites at Stafford Park, Telford, and at its factory in China.

Part of his apprenticeship has seen Rob travel to the firm's factory in Jiaxing, China, where he spent a total of seven months working with product and packaging designers.

"We were impressed by Rob's enthusiasm and hard work. He threw himself in to every task and brought real value to the team." said John Hornby, MD at Ross.

"When I first heard about Ross I really liked them, as they're such a successful British firm," said Rob. "I applied for an apprenticeship and was lucky enough to be taken on. I began as a CAD technician, and over time I have progressed.

"The work I've been doing is challenging and interesting, and they're happy for me to work around my university schedule. It's good to see practical applications for the theory I'm learning."

Rob added: "Getting to go to China was amazing. I stayed in an apartment about 5 km from the factory. I found it very different to anything I've experienced before, with both language and cultural barriers to overcome. It was also hard being away from friends and family.

"I enjoyed the vivid differences between Chinese culture and UK working styles. The only thing I wasn't so keen on was the food."

Rob will begin studying for the final year of a degree in mechanical engineering and mathematics at Loughborough University in October.

He added: "After university I hope to continue working in consumer product design, with the goal of progressing further in product management and engineering.

"It's a tough job market for graduates at the moment, with fierce competition from a growing number of graduates for a shrinking number of jobs. I'm very lucky."

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