An Interview with our Apprentice of the Year

How did you hear about the British Engines apprenticeship scheme?

When I left school after completing my GCSE’s I had no idea what I wanted to do, so I didn’t go on to further education like a lot of my friends. Instead, I tried a number of job roles in different companies but could never find something I really enjoyed. I started working for Rotary Power as a labourer in 2010 at the age of 19. Whilst working at Rotary Power, I was told about the British Engines Apprenticeship Scheme.

What attracted you to the apprenticeship scheme?

The four year course offered qualifications and a career in engineering. So I decided to apply. Initially I wasn’t accepted on to the scheme because of my GCSE results. That didn’t stop me though; I saw it as an opportunity to develop myself.

What did you do when you found out you didn’t qualify for the apprenticeship scheme?

I enrolled myself on to a Level 2 machining course at college, I knew if I passed I would be qualified enough for the apprenticeship scheme the following year. In 2011 I applied again and this time I was accepted.

How did you find it?

I must admit it was tough at first, I had a lot of course work and I had to do maths again! I’d been working with adults for two years and I had to go back to college with people younger than me which was quite strange. I was working and studying, whilst still trying to go out with my friends and have a social life.

My personal development has definitely been a big part of my apprenticeship, it requires good time management and I think that’s just something you get good at over time. Through Apprenticeship +, I did a lot of team building exercises and I’ve made some really good friends.

What did you do during your apprenticeship?

In my first year, I had to go to college for the first six months but after that, we would work alongside our mentor on the shop floor and go to college once a week. In my first year, we were split into teams and had to make a gear pump, we actually won an award from British Engines for that project.

What support did you receive during your apprenticeship?

When I first started I was assigned a mentor in the factory. I worked with him when I was machining so I always had someone to answer my questions. I also had my tutors at college and a representative from the training provider who came to visit me once a week; he would always help me if I was struggling with work load or anything else.

What have you achieved during your apprenticeship?

  • NVQ Level 2 in Performing Engineering Operations
  • NVQ Level 3 in Mechanical Engineering
  • BTEC Level 3 in Mechanical Engineering
  • Apprenticeship + Foundation Level
  • Apprenticeship + Intermediate Level

I was recently awarded a British Engines Apprenticeship Award to recognise my achievements over the past four years. It felt great that they had acknowledged my efforts and I couldn’t be prouder. It has all been worth it, in September 2015 I will be fully qualified and all I can say now is that I’m happy that I pushed myself when I did. Now, not only do I have qualifications, but I am guaranteed a job and have a bright future ahead of me.

What would you say to anyone thinking about starting an apprenticeship with British Engines?

Do it! It’s a great way to learn and earn money at the same time. Every day is different because you’re not at college in a classroom learning theory, instead you’re on the shop floor having a go at making something yourself.

Click here to find out more about the British Engines apprenticeship scheme.