Tim Edwards was a year into his A-level studies when he decided that getting into employment sooner rather than later might be his best option given the economic conditions at the time. 

Tim applied for, and was offered, two apprenticeships, one as architectural technician and one as an engineer at Michelin, which he decided to accept. 

Tim said: “Michelin offered me a higher level of entry due to my year of A-level studies. Michelin also had a fantastic reputation for its training and personal development which made the choice an easy one.  

“Michelin were still taking around 120 apprentices a year back then. As well as the vocational training we had to do daily physical training, outward bound exercises and I spent two months working in nearby Stallington Hall psychiatric hospital.  

“My apprenticeship was very broad and comprehensive, and I learned engineering, manufacturing processes and polymer technologies. 

“Michelin had very high standards and the apprenticeship taught me a lot and developed me as a person. I can honestly say it has influenced everything I have done since then. As well as the technical skills I developed resilience, determination, and stamina. Equipping me to tackle any challenges in later life.” 

Michelin made large scale redundancies in the mid-1980s, but Tim had no problem getting another job. He had been working in quality control at Michelin around the BS5750 standard which became ISO9000. 

He worked in engineering and then went to work for Steetley Brick where he quality managed eight manufacturing sites across the north of England. During this time Tim decided to study a for a degree with the Open University. 

“Tim said: “It was something I had in me I felt I had to do. I funded it myself and it took It took me five years as I was working full time and had a young family.” 

Career moves saw Tim move to a sporting goods company who exported 70% of their product which meant he travelled abroad and helped set up a manufacturing base in the USA. Five years later he moved into a public policy role at Stoke-on-Trent City Council and just for good measure enrolled on a master’s in business administration (MBA) at Keele University. 

Tim’s worked moved into the field of housing and he was later seconded to an interim director role at Aspire Housing. Like many secondees, he never went back to his original employer and Tim later moved into a training and development role as director of business excellence at PM Training. 

In 2019 Tim decided to try the one thing missing from his CV – self-employment.  

“Tim said: “I have so many strands of experience and I felt it was time to use my various skill sets to help other businesses and organisations, hence I established TJE Consulting in 2019.  

“I feel fortunate that I have absolutely no regrets with way my career has evolved. I have been presented with some amazing opportunities which I have always relished and risen to. It all stems back to where my journey started, with my apprenticeship at Michelin. and I was fortunate to have that support and guidance at a young age, and I never looked back from there.”