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Lisa is doing a Maintenance and Operations Engineering apprenticeship at our Mid Devon campus and works as a Production Engineering team leader at Potter and Moore.
Apprenticeship in Managment and Operations Enginering Technology Level 3Campus: Mid DevonEmployer: Potter and Moore
"I'm doing an apprenticeship to get the certification and training to advance within my job. Engineering is all I ever wanted to do. I started in the RAF as an Air Frames Mechanic and was in the RAF for 11 years.
"It is not easy working in engineering and working in a male-dominated industry until they get to know you and then they see past the gender difference. But it is easier now than when I first left the RAF. You have to have a thick skin and you have to prove yourself more than the lads do but it is so rewarding to do something different. You get respect from everyone from doing a different job.
"I am not Lisa, the 'female' engineer; I am Lisa, the engineer! Workplaces should be genderless no matter where you are. If we could get more women in the trade that would be great. Women and men have a different way of thinking."
Lewis is studying Level 3 Extended Diploma in Engineering at our North Devon campus and is going on to do an apprenticeship with Dyson.
Level 3 Extended Diploma in EngineeringCampus: North DevonFormer school: Park SchoolNext: Apprenticeship with Dyson
“I’m going to be an RDD apprentice with Dyson – RDD is a specialist mechanism. It took a while to hear back from them and they said they liked my CV. I had a series of interviews – it was quite hard, but interesting though. It was interesting seeing how the stuff that I have learnt here applied to it. The stuff I learnt here definitely helped with the whole process.
“I chose engineering because from school I really liked my sciences and maths. It fit in with what I was doing well in. I don’t think enough people realise this is a really good career route.
“The main thing that set me apart in my interviews with Dyson is the facilities here. It set me apart from the candidates. Because of the facilities, I have been able to get that experience here which other people didn’t have. They were really interested that I had all the relevant experience for the job.”
Levi is studying the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Engineering at our North Devon campus and is going to do an engineering apprenticeship with the Royal Navy.
Extended Diploma in Engineering Level 3Campus: North DevonFormer School: Bideford CollegeNext: Engineering apprenticeship with the Royal Navy
“I’m going into the Royal Navy as an engineering apprentice to do nuclear submarine engineering. You start off doing a Level 3 Apprenticeship then you do a foundation degree and then at the end of the eight years you do a full degree. That will be in submarine operations.
“I’m looking forward to it. It’s quite interesting. I did a project on the mechanism which powers the submarines and it seems exciting. The first training is near Exmoor but I think a lot of the training will be at HMNB Clyde in Scotland.
“I just started the course thinking it would be a good thing to do. I didn’t realise I would be able to do a great apprenticeship because if it. There’s a lot of different aspects to the course which is nice and the workshops downstairs are quite impressive.”
Lewis is on a Level 3 apprenticeship with Actavis (through the South West Apprenticeship Company)
Engineering Advance Apprenticeship Level 3 – North Devon
Employer: Actavis (through the South West Apprenticeship Company)
“I started at Petroc on an A Level programme, but I knew I didn’t want to go to university so, instead, started working full time when I finished.
However, I couldn’t see any career advances in my job, so decided to return to college to get some more qualifications. I’d already got used to working and getting paid, though, so wanted a way of combining both study and employment. This is why I chose an apprenticeship.
I chose engineering because I’d studied it for two years at school and really enjoyed it. Plus, there are lots of different avenues you can take within the industry.
As well as getting paid, I like the fact that, with an apprenticeship, you have the opportunity to put the skills you’ve learn in the classroom into practice immediately. Also, an apprenticeship gives you the chance to get used to working with people and how teams operate; a vital skills in the workplace.
From an employer’s point of view, they benefit from having an employee that they can shape to fit their business.
My goal is to get fully qualified and then move into management or project work. Like I said, there are lots of opportunities in this industry, so I’ll just see where my career takes me.
I’ve learnt quite a lot from the path I’ve taken through education. If I was to advise someone similar to me, who doesn’t necessarily want to follow the A Levels/university route, I’d say definitely consider an apprenticeship. You get real-life work experience and build contacts to help you find employment. In many ways I’d say that, because of this, apprentices have a head start over people who spend years and years studying before looking for a job.”
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