‘Gaining my apprenticeship through SIGTA has been essential in getting to where I am now, the experience gained has allowed me to take a path which would normally take a lot longer to achieve’.
I always knew I wanted to be an engineer. I dropped out of A-levels after the first year, realising that it was not the best way to get into the industry. I enrolled on a level 3 mechanical engineering course a local college, after being there for a few of months seeing the different varieties of engineering, I knew that mechanical engineering was the way I wanted to go.
An apprentice job opening was advertised by for a company called Pyser SGI who manufactured thermal weapon sights for the defence sector. I went for a visit and later an interview, after being offered the job I decided to accept. Working in a business environment quickly improved my machining skills but also my understanding of the importance of time management. Unfortunately the actual apprenticeship side of things wasn’t going as planned as there was no set structure or official qualifications in place by the other training provider, so I felt like I wasn’t learning as much as I could. This changed when a new manager took over the work shop, with experience in managing apprentices. He introduced Darryl from SIGTA Ltd as my Training officer who quickly set up my tasks and got me onto using CNC milling machines – something which I had not had any exposure to. From here I was also involved in more complex machining tasks within the company to build up evidence for my machining units.
Once established within Pyser I was able to move up to the role of Junior Mechanical Design engineer within the Research and Development department whilst still completing my apprenticeship. This was ultimately the career path that I wanted to take. As part of the design team I was responsible for overseeing projects from start to finish. Hands on experience gave me a greater understanding of the importance of designing features in a way that makes manufacturing achievable – something that some of my university educated colleagues struggled with.
I currently work for a company called Linkam as a Mechanical Development Engineer within the Research and Development department. My role involves designing and testing the mechanical aspects of high precision test equipment for scientific research. Whilst completing my apprenticeship I also gained an HNC in manufacturing engineering at college.
Gaining my apprenticeship through SIGTA has been essential in getting to where I am now, the experience gained has allowed me to take a path which would normally take a lot longer to achieve. I have no doubt that if I were not introduced to the apprenticeship program that I would still be working as a toolmaker. Darryl’s advice over the years has been incredibly useful, it’s very refreshing to work with someone who has genuine industry experience, as well as a clear passion for engineering.
As well as my current job role I have also built an engineering workshop fitted with a four axis CNC milling machine, lathe and design facilities with the aim to starting my own company.