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‘A unique opportunity to develop the skills in demand by employers’

National Apprenticeship Week, which ends on Sunday (February 12) shines a light on how apprenticeships can help individuals to develop both the skills and knowledge required for a rewarding career, as well as how businesses benefit from apprenticeships within the workplace.

The theme this year is Skills for Life. Adam Barrass is an apprentice at Aero Tec Laboratories in Bletchley – the world’s leading manufacturer of safety fuel cells for use in motorsport – and attends Milton Keynes College. He shares his thoughts on the key skills and attitudes necessary for success as an apprentice.

What skills have you gained since being an engineering apprentice at ATL?

Since starting my apprenticeship with ATL I feel like I’ve gained a lot of knowledge of engineering. Some of the main skills I’ve gained are how to insert rivet nuts and use the guns.

I’ve also learned how to insert heli coils and use the helicoil gun. In the past few weeks, I’ve also been taught how to use the laser.

Can you discuss a project you have worked on during your apprenticeship that you are proud of and why?

A project I worked on that I’m proud of is the moulding for the F1 tanks. I moulded quite a few of the fuel tanks including Mercedes, Ferrari, Aston Martin and Haase.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in engineering?

To someone starting out in engineering, the best advice I would give is to ask questions and learn from others. I’m lucky enough to be working alongside very experienced engineers which helps progress my learning a lot quicker.

In your opinion, what are the most valuable skills an apprentice can gain through their training and development?

Some of the most valuable skills are what the more experienced engineers give to you, I feel like I’ve learned more than some others who are in engineering just from watching the best way to do things and how to be more efficient.

In your opinion, what are the advantages of doing an apprenticeship over a university degree?

In my opinion, the advantages of doing an apprenticeship over doing a university degree are you are already in the engineering environment and are used to the working environment you’ll be in.

 Give us three reasons someone should consider an engineering apprenticeship.

When considering pursuing an engineering career, you have two options: an Engineering Apprenticeship or a University Degree. Both have advantages and disadvantages and may suit different learning styles. Given the diversity of engineering education, it’s essential to carefully assess each option and choose the one that best aligns with your career aspirations.

1 Gain experience and skills that employers want

An apprenticeship in engineering provides individuals with a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience and develop the skills that are in high demand by employers in the engineering field. Through an apprenticeship, individuals can learn from experienced engineers, gain practical experience working on real projects, and develop the technical and soft skills that are essential for success in the engineering profession.

2 Practical experience

Engineering apprenticeships provide individuals with the opportunity to work on real projects and gain practical experience in a variety of areas, including design, testing, and manufacturing. This allows them to apply the theoretical knowledge they have learned in the classroom to real-world situations and helps to prepare them for the challenges they will face in their careers.

3 Earn while you learn

Engineering apprentices are paid for their work, which allows them to earn learning. Therefore, unlike university you will not be left with debt.

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