My name is Dan Jones, I’m 18 and I’m a third year technical apprentice at Rotork, Bath.
I decided to choose an apprenticeship over Sixth Form or College as I was more interested in developing my hands on skills and wanted to be part of a working team rather than staying in the more academic subjects. I further chose engineering because a lot of my family are engineers, so I had a little background interest regarding this subject. The Rotork apprenticeship scheme is a great alternative to Sixth Form or University, offering a set of engineering based qualifications, knowledge and experience of working in industry, as well as other benefits, whilst being paid.
The technical apprenticeship scheme lasts 4 years, during which time, there’s college study and time in the workplace. As an apprentice, there are opportunities to work effectively as part of Rotork: from working on the shop floor building actuators to designing new components and working in electronics labs. At college, machining, electrical installation and the maths and physics behind engineering is learnt. For the first year, it’s full time at college and coming into the workplace during holiday times. At college, a PEO (Performing Engineering Operations) in mechanical and electrical engineering at level 2 is achieved. Then, a National Diploma in Engineering at level 3 is worked towards and finally a National Diploma and a HNC in Mechanical Engineering.
I have worked in the electronics lab and have worked in the majority of the work stations on the shop floor. The tasks I am asked to do vary from day to day and present an enjoyable challenge. At Rotork, it’s expected to work hard and have a go at everything; it’s a way to develop oneself. Life at college is enjoyable and there’s a great atmosphere so long as the course work load is managed! There’s a great social side to the apprenticeship; I’ve made so many friends with co-workers, course mates, tutors and others. Rotork holds a family fun day, dinner dance, Christmas meal and charity events which are all great social events to meet new people.
The highlight so far has been meeting different people at work and college. By sharing knowledge and experience, people help each other which is a vital part of personal development and being an effective member of the workplace. Since being an apprentice at Rotork I feel I have matured into the workplace and gained knowledge on how the company works. Now I’m looking forward to completing the rest of the apprenticeship and coming out with some attractive qualifications and future job prospects with Rotork.