What is life as an engineering apprentice like?
Published: 23 Feb 2018 By LoveApprenticeship.com
Oliver Harrison and Isabel Mead are both engineering apprentices at the steel door and security solutions manufacturer Bradbury Group. We spoke to them about why they got into engineering, and where they plan to go next.
Thanks to the UK's skills shortage, trained engineers are in high demand. So, for those seeking a career in a field that offers competitive salaries, lots of opportunities, and good job security, becoming an engineer could be the best decision you ever make.
If this is a route you decide to go down, securing an apprenticeship in the sector is a great place to start. This will allow you to learn on the job, help you to make contacts that could eventually land you a full-time role, and give you an idea of what life as an engineer looks like.
There are a number of reasons why people apply for apprenticeships — for example, Isabel was at college when she realised a less traditional form of education might suit her better. She says: "My sister suggested that I should look into apprenticeships, as she could tell I was unhappy at college. I researched what that would entail and thought it all sounded really interesting, so I applied. After passing my entry tests, I was lucky enough to be accepted!"
Oliver was already studying engineering and felt that securing an apprenticeship would be a natural next step in his career. "I decided that I wanted to do an engineering apprenticeship when I was studying Level 3 Engineering. I saw this as an opportunity to develop my skills while gaining hands-on experience in the job I wanted to do as a career," he explains.
Through their apprenticeships, both Oliver and Isabel have been able to get their foot in the door, and learned a lot about the different areas they can specialise in, so they can decide which direction they would like their careers to go in. Isabel's role focuses on the design and manufacturing of steel security doors, while Oliver works as a tooling engineer. He says: "I am a CNC programmer for the Salvagnini machine, which punches and folds the door skins, ready to be put together further down the production line." Before starting his apprenticeship, he wasn't even aware that jobs like this existed.
The best thing about apprenticeships is that they can lead to bigger and better things. So, how do Bradbury Group's apprentices see their careers progressing in the near future? Isabel says: "My next career goal is to continue working at Bradbury as a qualified design engineer, and extend my education, possibly with night classes." Oliver would like to continue working with the Group, too. He adds: "My next career goal is to develop my skills and get the qualifications I need to become a CNC Programmer at Bradbury."
With the training they're receiving through their apprenticeships, both Isabel and Oliver are well on their way to making their goals a reality. By taking a similar path, there's no reason why you can't do the same!