Tomorrow’s Engineers Week 2015

We supported Tomorrow’s Engineers Week 2015: Mission Inspiration.

Read our interview with 17 year old, Sunny Howd, a second year apprentice at Stephenson Gobin.

Tell us about your apprenticeship…

I started my apprenticeship with British Engines in September 2014. Myself and the other apprentices in my year studied at the TDR training school until February 2015, before being placed into one of the six British Engines businesses. I am based at Stephenson Gobin in Bishop Auckland.

How did you hear about the British Engines apprenticeship scheme?

I did a lot of research online, looking at apprenticeship websites before applying. The British Engines apprenticeship scheme really stood out, I liked how I would receive extra training on top of any other apprenticeship.

What were your other options?

A lot of my family are engineers so I didn’t really think about going back to sixth form or on to college. I wanted to be an engineer and I knew the best way to get into it was through an apprenticeship scheme.

What is your role at Stephenson Gobin?

I am a Machinist on a CNC machine in the grinding section of the factory. We form part of the process to manufacture electromagnetic clutches/brakes and fire safety equipment.

What do you enjoy the most?

I like being on the machines and setting up for a job. Since coming to the factory in February, I have been lucky enough to move around the machines to gain experience across the whole production process. My mentor, John, is always there to keep me right which is good if I ever get stuck.

What topics are you learning about at college?

I go to college one day a week, we are currently learning about man power planning and computer aided manufacturing (CAM). Through the British Engines apprenticeship+ scheme, we then go on to do extra studying every Friday. Depending on the topic, we will go into one of the British Engines factories to complete some theory and practical work around the subject. This week we have been learning about welding and so we have been based in the BEL Valves factory.

What are your career plans?

I would like to go on to study for a degree in Mechanical Engineering and hopefully become a Production Engineer. That way I can go between the office and the factory, designing parts for the machines.

What would your advice be to someone considering an apprenticeship?

Make sure you do lots of research and choose the right company for you. The training is very important as you are essentially learning on the job.

Sunny has been shortlisted for the EEF Future Manufacturing First Year Apprenticeship Award. Good luck Sunny!