“The great thing about an apprenticeship is that it offers skills to progress to bigger things.”
Elias Costas, 20, from Wolverhampton is one of the apprentices studying at the Elite Centre for Manufacturing Skills.
After studying at Dudley College, gaining Level 1 and 2 City & Guilds (merit) and a Level 2 BTEC qualification (distinction) in Engineering, he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do and, following family advice, he started to look for a job that matched his qualifications.
He secured a job at the Phoenix Pattern and Tool Company based in Heathtown, Wolverhampton. The business revolves around the manufacture of models and tooling in various materials to service industry.
Elias said: “I’ve been employed for a year with Phoenix and I’m really using the skills I’m learning on my apprenticeship course – especially machining and CAD software. It’s a really good starting point for my career progression.
“The great thing about an apprenticeship is that it offers skills. I have the qualifications, but what I need is a good range of on-the-job skills.
“I’m hoping that my apprenticeship will eventually lead me to possibly studying for a degree in Engineering and hopefully a management position
“May aim through this apprenticeship is to upskill and get qualified… to be the future of engineering.”
Joseph Rawding, 25, from Spalding in Lincolnshire, is one of the apprentices studying at the Elite Centre for Manufacturing Skills.
After starting his career in construction when he left school, he worked on the tools for over five years before switching to a civil engineering role.
He then worked for various engineering companies before looking for something less manual.
“I was working outdoors a lot and had begun to consider other career options, mainly in patternmaking.
“Working in the industry, I now know that I’d like to be a fully qualified patternmaker and maybe in the future set up my own pattern shop.
“The apprenticeship is very promising and I’m really looking forward to using the modern tools and equipment at the National Foundry Training Centre including the CNC machines and the 3D printers.”
Joseph is now working at South Lincs Pattern Shop and Foundry which supplies the food, marine, pump, steam and general engineering industries. They also produce vintage replacement motor car parts for Aston Martin, Bentley, Rolls Royce and Bugatti.
“I’m looking at my apprenticeship as a career rather than a job…”
Brandon Jones, 17, from Kings Lynn in Norfolk, is one of the apprentices studying at the Elite Centre for Manufacturing Skills.
Brandon’s grandfather has worked at Cooper Roller Bearings (now SKF Cooper) for 40 years and now his grandson is following in his footsteps as an apprentice.
Cooper is a global company with representation in every continent and an international reputation for excellence in the design and manufacture of split bearings.
After studying carpentry at college, Brandon decided he didn’t want to work on the tools but he also wanted to use some of the skills he had learned on his course. He secured an apprenticeship at SKF Cooper where he will pursue a career in engineering.
Brandon said: “I’m looking at my apprenticeship as a career rather than a job and, like my grandfather, am in it for the long haul.
“I’m really impressed with the facilities at the ECMS and am looking at gaining lots of experience along the way.”
“This apprenticeship will allow me to climb the ladder and work my way up the ranks.”
Dennis Hewitt, 18, from Leicester is studying for a bespoke apprenticeship at the Elite Centre for Manufacturing Skills.
Dennis studied for A Levels and had considered going to university but, after struggling with his subjects, he decided that he wanted to pursue a career.
He secured a job as a Process Engineer with Lestercast Ltd, a leading UK Precision Investment Casting manufacturer which produces bespoke components in an extensive range of metals and specialist alloys for both industrial and commercial applications.
Dennis said: “My dad works in castings so I started looking for opportunities as an apprentice and was really pleased to find a job with Lestercast where everyone is really friendly.
“I would like eventually to move into a management role and this apprenticeship will allow me to climb the ladder and work my way up the ranks.”