Daisy is completing the 4 year Higher Apprenticeship (Level 4) in Engineering which includes a Foundation Degree in Integrated Engineering, BEng Mechanical Engineering, and Level 4 NVQ - Extended Diploma in Engineering Manufacture. Below Daisy tells us how doing an apprenticeship has made her 'more independent' and given her confidence in moving forward in her career.
1. What company are you working for? What does the company do?
JCB - Manufacturers construction and agricultural equipment.
2. What's your role within the company? What do you find most interesting and/or most enjoyable about the work you're doing?
Design Engineer at JCB Compact Products.
I love the variation of my role, from working on CAD to meeting suppliers, to liaising with sales and marketing, no two days are the same.
3. How do you expect your career to develop at this company?
The opportunities provided to me in JCB during my apprenticeship have opened me to many options for the future in my career. I will finish my apprenticeship with a full time job as a Design Engineer at JCB and from then I plan to progress to senior roles including Chartership.
4. What kind of training do you get as part of your apprenticeship?
Part time BEng degree and level 4 NVQ.
5. Describe a typical study day on your apprenticeship.
The typical day at University runs from 9am-6pm with lectures that can be 1 to 2 hours long. Generally the content from the lecture is followed up in the tutorial. The lectures we attend are often mixed with full time students, and the structure of the teaching is very much the same as the full time course – just compressed into one day per week.
I am also part of the Sheffield Hallam Salsa Society, so take part in Sala classes and performances after lectures.
6. How many years will your apprenticeship take? How does the course develop as you progress? What qualification will you come out with?
4 years in total
Foundation Degree Integrated Engineering
BEng Mechanical Engineering
Level 4 NVQ – Extended Diploma in Engineering Manufacture.
7. Tell us the most interesting thing that’s happened during your apprenticeship
In 2015 I was asked to be a part of the Government Get In Go Far campaign, this has led on to many other opportunities including a visit to No. 10 Downing Street, meeting the Minister of State for Education Robert Halfon to discuss apprenticeships and co-host the National Apprenticeship Awards.
During my apprenticeship, I have also been given the opportunity to lead a design project for a next generation machine. This has been really exciting to see a project through from concept to release, which I can’t wait to see the finished product at some point in the future! The project has allowed me to develop my technical skills, as well as my time and resource management. For me, this is why I love my job!
8. What made you choose an apprenticeship rather than other forms of education?
When doing my A Levels, I applied for University, and found out about apprenticeships which initially appealed to me because of the financial advantages.
By applying for apprenticeships I was keeping my options open, however when I went to assessment days, I realised that it was the right route for me. I was keen to really understand what I was learning at university, and be able to start working. I also now realise that day to day working life is much more rewarding than the 4 year stretch of working towards assignments and exams.
9. How has your apprenticeship developed you as a person?
I started my apprenticeship and moved out of my parents’ home a month after I turned 18. For me it was a massive step to start work with a team of experienced engineers, and try to understand even the simplest of conversations.
It has given me so much confidence being in a position now, where I am able to lead meetings with engineers and managers.
By having the responsibility of running a design project, I have become much more independent, being able to have conviction in my decisions and move the project forward with confidence.
10. What's your career ambition? How do you think your apprenticeship will help you achieve that ambition?
Through my apprenticeship I have done placements around the business, this has given me exposure to a whole range of roles and opened my eyes to the opportunities within the business. As someone who takes every opportunity offered, I cannot say where I see myself in the future, but I’m currently loving my job as a design engineer and for the time being, will try to progress within my current role.
11. How else do you think your apprenticeship will affect your working life?
The immediate impact of my apprenticeship is the work ethic it has given me to complete my degree part time and this is something I will take forward with me in whatever role I take in the future.
I also feel that the opportunities to develop my personal skills, including public speaking, decision making and even moving away from home has given me a great start to my career and developed who I am as a person, giving me much more confidence and independence.
12. How much advice and support about apprenticeships did you get when you were at school/college? How did this compare with the advice you were given about other educational routes?
When leaving Secondary School, I don’t remember being given any information about apprenticeships at all. I was advised to apply for University in Sixth Form however I found out about the apprenticeships myself and applied independently of school.
13. What advice would you give to someone thinking of doing an apprenticeship?
The most important thing for anyone is to do what is right for them. Doing an apprenticeship is not an easy option, so you need to make sure you are getting into something that you want see through to the end.
I would suggest looking into all your options and don’t be afraid to send out multiple applications. If/when there is opportunity to speak to the employer, ask them questions too, make sure that what they’re offering is something you can see yourself doing and enjoying.
Be confident (but not cocky) in interviews, show off and make sure they know about the things you do that will make you stand out, and be yourself because companies want to see how you could contribute to their business.