Engineering apprenticeships – make something of your career

Learning and earning might seem too good to be true, but that’s one of the key benefits of doing an apprenticeship. And few sectors do apprenticeships better than engineering – where apprenticeships sit at the heart of the industry. We spoke to some experts to find more…

“University wasn’t for me”

Beth Preston is 22 and a Broadcast Engineering Apprentice for Arqiva, a telecommunications firm based in Winchester. When Beth decided that uni wasn’t for her, she worried that finding a good job might be hard – until she discovered apprenticeships!

“I didn’t have many skills or experience, so I decided an engineering apprenticeship would offer me the necessary skills and experience I needed to secure myself a good career.”

“There are more jobs than there are apprentices”

As you probably know, the UK is suffering from a skills crisis: there just aren’t enough people with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) skills.

There are more opportunities and job vacancies for these hands-on skills, than there are candidates to fill them,” says James Sopwith, a Director at adi Group, which specialises in many areas of engineering – from aerospace to petrochemicals to food and drink.

“Apprenticeships have the power to change that, helping individuals to develop the skills they need to build a successful and rewarding career in the world of engineering.”

Engineering apprenticeships – make something of your career

Image: iStock

“I was getting no luck before…”

19-year-old Kyle Sterry is one such individual. He’s now in his second year of an engineering, fabrication and welding apprenticeship with the adi Group – which he loves.

“I had been applying everywhere and was getting no luck, so I was really pleased when I was asked in for an interview.

I started immediately, and not really knowing what to expect it was great to get stuck into practical working and projects straight away. I think skills development while working is what makes apprenticeships so much better than A-levels, and adi Group have such a hands on approach it means the experience is truly invaluable.”

“University was for me”

Lucy Ackland began her four-year engineering apprenticeship with engineering firm, Renishaw, when she was 16. As an apprentice, she completed NVQs in milling, turning, electrical wiring, electronics, design, CNC and measurement.

“Following this, I knew that I wanted to further my studies, so in 2009 I completed a Foundation Degree in Mechatronic Engineering. In 2012 I achieved a first class honours degree in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering from the University of South Wales.”

Lucy is now 26 and works as a Project Manager at Renishaw.

Engineering apprenticeships – make something of your career

Image: iStock

“You’ll be treated like an employee…”

Comms-care provides IT and professional services to businesses across the UK. It’s a small firm, but like many engineering companies, it takes on a group of engineering apprentices every year – supporting them at every stage.

“We treat apprentices the same as any other employee,” says Darren Briscoe, Technical Director at Comms-care. “They receive a similar benefits package as our other staff and have the same opportunities for progression within the organisation too.”

“Apprentices – what’s not to like?!”

Back at Arqiva, apprentices are welcomed for their energy and enthusiasm.

“Investing in apprenticeships ensures we have the right skills in place to meet the future needs of our customers,” explains John Druce, Learning and Development Manager at Arqiva.

“We find the investment we make is reciprocated in loyalty and commitment from our engineering apprentices – the vast majority of whom progress into engineering and operational roles at the end of their scheme.

Apprentices also bring energy, enthusiasm and new ways of looking at things so what’s not to like?!”

View all the latest Engineering Apprenticeships available.

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