Apprentice Blog: Life As A Mechanical Engineering Apprentice
It’s National Apprenticeship Week 2016 across the UK and we’re celebrating our Apprentice Academy Apprentices. In today’s hot seat, we are delighted to invite George Abbott as a guest blogger. Here George talks about life as a Mechanical Engineering Apprentice with adi’s Specialist Welding Solutions division.
My name is George Abbott. I’m 21 and from Paulton, near Bath. I’m currently in the second year of my Mechanical Welding and Fabrication Engineering apprenticeship with adi Specialist Welding Solutions which is based in Frome.
“I did A-levels at school, and originally wanted to become a golf professional. I was playing a lot and working at the pro shop at the golf club, but after a while I started to realise how difficult it was to build a career in, and decided to look at what else I could do.
“I’d always been interested in finding out how things work, and wanted to play a part in something bigger. Engineering interested me because it is all about coming up with something different to what has been done before.
“Everyone at school was pushing me towards university, but I’m much more of a hands-on person, so I’ve always found it hard to learn from PowerPoint slides. I’d done ok at school, but I wasn’t interested in spending four years on something that might not be any use in the future.
“I looked online at apprenticeships and found that because of my A-levels, I could start with a level 3 qualification. I finished that in 12 months and now I’m doing a higher apprenticeship, which will finish at the end of next year.
“I’m mainly office-based, but I also do some of the practical side, which includes learning to weld. It means that every day is different which I really like, and overall I feel really inspired.
“My apprenticeship is actually quite unique. I don’t think anyone else is working in the region on the same scale as adi. There’s lots of standard manufacturing shops where you can learn to programme machinery, which is what most of the people at my college are doing, but because adi does specialist welding it’s a whole new skill set that I can put on my CV.
“I’ve already learnt so much, especially because I’ve been given a mini-project which will form part of my course work. It’s involved estimating the cost of the materials and drawing it on CAD, and now I’m building it myself using the welding techniques I’ve learned.
“This is my first job in a professional environment, and adi have been very good. They’ve given me loads of support both locally and at head office. They have something called an Apprentice Academy, where all the apprentices across the group get together to learn more about the business, do team building activities, and understand more about opportunities for progression.
“I’d highly recommend an apprenticeship as a route into work. It’s given me the opportunity to progress in a career that I really enjoy, and that will take me places. It’s unlocked a lot of doors for me, and there are a few routes that I can go down in the future. At the moment I want to become part of the management, running jobs and leading a team. But to go into that it’s really important to understand how things work – otherwise you’re just transferring theoretical information from one place to another.
“It’s such a shame that schools seem to think the only way into a career is through university, and that I had to go out of my way to look at alternatives. But those opportunities are out there, and I for one am glad I took the time to find out.”
For more information about adi Group apprenticeships and careers please visit www.adiltd.co.uk/careers.BACK TO ARTICLES