Why did you opt for an apprenticeship?
I decided to pursue an engineering apprenticeship because the academic route wasn’t for me. Yes, I wanted to study what I am passionate about, but not to the expense of ever-increasing student debt. Experience in the workplace is something, in my opinion, just as valuable as a degree.
As an apprentice, I feel that I have the freedom to be able to study and work. There is the experience and independence that you gain in a working environment, but there also opportunities for further education.
Describe your apprenticeship at Oxfordshire Advanced Skills:
My apprenticeship lasts four years. The first year was at the OAS centre with a medium-sized group. There I learned practical skills as well as planning, presentation and research skills. I’ve used machines such as lathes and mills, setup CNC mills, 3D printers, CAD software and spent plenty of time researching and studying maths and electronics.
In my second year I am working in placements around the Culham site. My first placement was in the power supplies lab for the JET fusion experiment.
I am moving on to level 3 qualifications in maths and engineering which I am finding fun and exciting.
I’ve also had the chance to take part in the National Apprenticeship Challenge at Cranfield University, helping my group design a lunar vehicle and habitation module.
What I enjoy most about being an apprentice based at Culham and the OAS Training Centre is that it’s different every day!
Why did you choose a career in engineering?
My interest in big projects and science alongside my curiosity pushed me into the direction of engineering before I knew exactly what engineering was. I wanted to work on huge projects with fusion reactors – for they interested me the most. Now, working alongside fusion reactors is my everyday thing!
What are your ambitions for the future?
I would like to broaden my horizons in the engineering world, keep an open mind on the routes I could go down. I would love to keep supporting the international effort on fusion energy. I also have my sights set on Switzerland and CERN as well as the European Space Agency – all fascinating and fast-paced environments that are significant in science.