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Amy Farley

Amy Farley is an apprentice co-ordinator for Marches Centre of Manufacturing and Technology and has been in her role for just three months. The centre works with local businesses to identify skills gaps and develop these skills either with the internal workforce or through apprenticeships, providing businesses with quality training programmes to support them to grow.

    EXPLAIN A TYPICAL WEEK IN YOUR WORKING LIFE: My week can be very varied but typically I would be promoting the opportunities to potential leaners by making the positions available seem within their reach. I interview a lot of candidates for apprenticeships and refer the successful candidates on to businesses. This ensures companies get the right candidates in front of them saving them time. I also visit a lot of schools and social groups talking about engineering and the possibilities that sit within the sector

    WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE FACING YOUR INDUSTRY RIGHT NOW? Shropshire is built up of SMEs and around 90% of our businesses have fewer than 10 employees, so owner managers are busy doing the job and don’t have a lot of time to think about the development of the business

    AND WHAT ARE THE BIG OPPORTUNITIES? There is so much potential in Shropshire - we have a real pool of talent,  whether that's a talented youngster leaving school or those already in employment. Our opportunity is keeping those skills within Shropshire by offering them entry points into great forever careers

    HOW DO YOU GET THE BEST OUT OF YOUR STAFF? Definitely communication and motivation. If staff are involved with the planning and development of the business, they will be naturally buy into the goals and strive for excellence alongside the management team. A "thanks" and a "well done" also go a long way

    WHAT WAS YOUR LAST MEETING ABOUT, HOW LONG DID IT LAST, AND WAS IT PRODUCTIVE? It was a long one - four hours on strategy and development. A very productive meeting with lots of actions that have already taken place to ultimately have a positive impact on Shropshire businesses.

    HOW MANY EMAILS DO YOU GET IN A DAY, AND HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU HAVE TO READ THEM? A lot. I try and prioritise them and take certain times of the day to go through them. I think it’s all about managing your time and making sure that time is allocated to reply

    DO YOU ANSWER WORK CALLS OR EMAILS AT HOME? WHAT’S THE RIGHT WORK-LIFE BALANCE? In the week I tend to look at emails and answer calls in the evenings, just to ease the workload in the day. I would rather deal with stuff as it comes in. Generally at the weekend, I tend to switch off and enjoy family life

    HOW DO YOU HOPE YOUR COLLEAGUES WOULD DESCRIBE YOU? Reliable, focused and competent. I would also like to think they thought I was a good positive person to be around

    BREXIT – WHAT’S YOUR VIEW OF WHAT IT’S ALL GOING TO MEAN? Difficult to judge as there is so much in the media it’s hard to establish what’s real and what isn’t. I do believe Shropshire has a strong economy and with the right tailored support the local businesses can prosper. There is lots of uncertainty at the moment which can be good as it means businesses are aware of some of the challenges - but it's all about turning this into opportunities by accessing the great networks and support available. Every business has to be prepared for a change in the way they do things and how they access the market

    HIGHLIGHTS OR LOWLIGHTS OF YOUR CAREER SO FAR?  Cleaning leisure changing rooms has got to be a low at the beginning of my career at 16 years old - but there were some lessons learnt, like don’t spray the hose behind a pipe without knowing what’s behind there! Highlight has to be working with the incredible businesses across Shropshire. There are some real hidden gems that we need to learn to sing about more often

    PET HATES? My top pet hate has to be untidiness and dirtiness. There really is no excuse. Second one would have to be dog owners not cleaning up after their dogs. Third, rudeness. There's really just no need

    IF YOU COULD GO BACK AND GIVE YOUR YOUNGER SELF SOME WISE ADVICE, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Don’t stress over situations that you can’t control just learn from them

    HOW DO YOU RELAX AWAY FROM WORK? As a family we are big fans of the National Trust parks so we like to get out and about. I have a bouncing 2 year old boy so anything that burns off some energy. We enjoy our holidays abroad and spending time with the wider family.

    WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE IS SPECIAL ABOUT THE SHROPSHIRE BUSINESS COMMUNITY? Shropshire is unique - we have a great business community with a pool of talented people who are creating some of the best things in the world from food and drink to engineering. We have a mass of potential to do more by retaining and developing skills. Shropshire has an incredible lifestyle value and with the advancements in technology you can have a city style business while reaping the benefits of the rural side of Shropshire.

    TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOU THAT MOST PEOPLE PROBABLY WOULDN’T KNOW: I desperately want to be Jack Bauer’s side kick in the series 24!

    YOU CAN TAKE ONE BOOK, ONE FILM AND ONE CD ONTO A DESERT ISLAND – WHAT WOULD THEY BE? Book – any romantic novel. I am an old fashioned romantic at heart; CD – Stand By Me - The Ben E King Collection; film – Law Abiding Citizen

    YOUR FIVE DREAM DINNER PARTY GUESTS, DEAD OR ALIVE? Ben E King, Princess Diana, Walt Disney, Morgan Freeman and Michelle Obama

    WHAT WOULD YOU COOK FOR THEM…?  I am rubbish at cooking (no, really bad!) so I would probably ask my brother-in-law (he is an amazing cook) to take over the kitchen duties, probably making a chilli lasagne (that’s my favourite of his). Dessert would have to be a mini trio of banoffeeppie, lemon tartlet and chocolate fondant cake, and of course plenty of fizz


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