Where are they now?
Two colleagues holding their laptops engage in a conversation, as they walk down a corridor.

Where are they now?

Hear from our previous apprentices about where they are now and how the apprenticeship scheme helped.

Hear from our previous apprentices about where they are now and how RPL'sApprenticeship Programme shaped their career path.

Craft Apprentice (1997-2001)

Chris Rymer - General Manager (Engineering)

"When I left sixth form, I had a few opportunities for different apprenticeships at difference companies. On paper, the RPL apprenticeship did not look the most exciting: ‘RICOH, what do they do?’ – a quick search showed photocopiers! I attended a site tour expecting not a lot. However, how wrong was I?! There was so much going on, so many different operations, so many different engineering disciplines, it looked like multiple apprenticeships in one. But the thing that really tipped the balance was the people and the manner in which they communicated. I was lucky enough to be accepted and that was over 20 years ago now. Throughout my time at Ricoh UK Products Ltd, I have continuously developed. The opportunities for new learnings are around every corner and that, coupled with the people and ways of working, makes this a fantastic place to work. RPL has helped my career develop by empowering me to be involved in so many aspects of business and engineering but, not only that, they also encourage me to maintain a good work-life balance. I work hard and I always have, but I know the company and people are there with me and you can not put a price on support and balance."

A portrait of Chris Rymer.

Technical Apprentice (1994-1998)

Richard Aston - Digital Operations & Engineering Assistant General Manager

“Having worked at RPL for over 25 years, I can say that the apprenticeship programme was instrumental in developing the skills I needed that ultimately shaped and guided me into the role I hold today. From a junior engineer to a more engineering specialist role, I was always encouraged and supported to innovate which, over the years, has been key to contributing to both personal and company success.”

A portrait of Richard Aston.

Technical Apprentice (1999-2003)

Mark Dickin - Additive Manufacturing Manager

“RPL has given me the opportunity to develop personally through a programme of education developing skills at every level of my engineering career. This investment in my personal development has enabled me to progress through the ranks to lead a team in an advanced manufacturing environment. Knowing how important the apprenticeship programme is, I take the role of mentoring apprentices in my area as a privilege."

A portrait of Mark Dickin.

Commercial Apprentice (2011-2013)

Jonathan Jobburns - Business Development & Business Planning Manager

"Without the RPL apprenticeship, I can honestly say I would not be where I am today. Having joined as a Commercial Apprentice, I have progressed through the organisation thanks to RICOH’s strong blend of mentoring, professional and vocational qualifications and the opportunity to actively contribute to the business. The RPL apprenticeship provided me with real responsibility early on, enabling me to gain invaluable experience and confidence. My apprenticeship included studying for professional qualifications which means I now possess a 1st class Business Management Degree and a Distinction MBA qualification. RPL has a long history of former apprentices going on to take senior positions within the organisation, and since finishing my apprenticeship in 2013, I am now the Business Development and Planning Manager. If you get the opportunity to join RPL as an apprentice, grab it with both hands and don’t let go!" 

A portrait of Jonathan Jobburns.

Commercial Apprentice (2004-2006)

Andrew Benning - Health & Safety Assistant Manager

"My apprenticeship gave me a broad understanding of what makes the business tick. Being fresh from my A-Levels I didn’t have a clue what half the departments did... Along the way, I’ve learnt a lot, met some great people and developed key partnerships, colleagues and friends. I’ve been here 20 years now and my Health & Safety role requires me to go literally everywhere on our sites. It’s great to have developed such strong relationships with people from all work areas, which is invaluable to the work I do. My Commercial Apprenticeship has made this possible." 

A portrait of Andrew Benning.

Commercial Apprentice (2014-2017)

Molly Craig - Assistant Finance Manager

"I started my career at RPL as a Commercial Apprentice in 2014. I worked in different departments including HR, IT, Finance, Business Development and Purchasing. I enjoyed my Finance placement which is where I finished the final year of my apprenticeship. I then applied for a role within the department and I have now made my way up to Assistant Finance Manager. During my apprenticeship, I also completed a HNC in Business Studies and have since completed my CIMA qualification. I recommend the Apprenticeship Programme as it allows you to gain important key skills, whilst working within the different commercial departments at Ricoh UK Products Ltd." 

A portrait of Molly Craig.

Commercial Apprentice (1998-2000)

Becky Jones - Senior HR Officer

"At the age of 17, choosing what path to take post A-Levels was extremely daunting. I knew that I didn't want to go to university, but also knew that I wanted to keep learning whilst keeping my options open. I was advised at a college to consider an apprenticeship but, to me, they were for electricians and mechanics. That wasn’t me, I liked business and people. Skip forward six months and I was fortunate to secure a Commercial Apprenticeship with RPL. The Apprenticeship Programme provided an important foundation to my career by enabling me to develop an understanding of all aspects of the business and therefore make an informed career choice. The wider business knowledge I gained through my apprenticeship has been invaluable to me as a HR professional, so 23 years on (and counting!) I’m still here and this is because of the people, innovation and passion for excellence. I am still learning and growing in my career every day." 

A portrait of Becky Jones.

Technical Apprentice (2004-2008)

Ashley James - Engineering Specialist

"I started at RPL as a Technical Apprentice. After 8 years of college and university I made my way up the engineering ladder to a Senior Engineer position with a team of my own, introducing new products and developing automation equipment. Joining the Apprenticeship Programme was the best decision I could have made. Ricoh UK Products Ltd has trained, educated and developed me into the engineer I am today." 

A portrait of Ashley James.

Business Development Apprentice (2018-2020)

Paris Newman - Business Development Officer

In August 2020, I successfully completed my Business Development Degree apprenticeship at Ricoh and embarked on my professional journey as a Business Development Coordinator. Since then, I have achieved my Business Management and Leadership BSc, earned Chartered Management status from the Chartered Management Institute, and transitioned into the role of a Business Development Officer. This apprenticeship program played a pivotal role in enhancing my knowledge and skills, facilitating my continuous growth and progression and has been instrumental in jumpstarting my career at an early stage. I eagerly anticipate the promising opportunities that await me at Ricoh."

A portrait of Paris Newman.

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