June 27, 2012 by Matt Massey
I always knew I wanted to be an engineering apprentice, but in 2006 when I was doing my GCSEs my careers advisers were rubbish. They couldn’t give me any information about how to get an apprenticeship or a company to sponsor me.
I was lucky. Someone told me about EEF’s Apprentice and Skills Training Centre. In those days you could get a grant to do your first year’s full-time training before you found an employer—you can’t do that now, you have to have a company to sponsor you from the start.
Barry Jones at EEF was great. By the time I’d completed my year’s training he’d matched me up with Midland Precision Equipment (MPE) and I haven’t looked back since.
We make precision components for the aerospace industry and that requires complex manufacturing processes.
I officially completed my apprenticeship with everything signed off about seven months ago to become a fully-fledged Manufacturing Engineer. Now I’m working in the front office planning jobs for Computer Aided Design and layouts for the engineers.
I’m learning about the process behind each job and the capabilities of each of our machine tools—it gives me the bigger picture.
I wanted an apprenticeship because my Dad’s an engineer at Land Rover and I fancied engineering work. He always told me that engineering is a good career with lots of opportunities to progress. So far, he’s right; thanks Dad!
I’m doing this blog because not everyone knows someone like my Dad working in engineering. Apprenticeships still aren’t top of the list of career suggestions when school-leavers are deciding which direction to take.
I think apprenticeships should be up there with A levels and university and I hope EEF’s website is getting the message across to school-leavers who want to know more about them.