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Helping apprentices progress into Higher Education

Asaf Mahmood

Case Study: Apprentice

I studied at Knottingley High School and did well in my GCSE’s, achieving 9 altogether with 3 at grade A. I didn’t fancy doing A levels so I tried to find out about Apprenticeships as my brother was doing one in Electrical Engineering.

“During the first years of my Apprenticeship I was working in the mould shop repairing moulds for glass bottles and jars but I wanted a fresh challenge and asked about doing an AutoCAD course at the College in the evenings.”

My school found that Rockware Glass required an Apprentice Mechanical Engineer and I was fortunate enough to get the job.

As part of the Apprenticeship I attended Wakefield College for 6 months full time study doing the NVQ level 2. My tutor then suggested that I should carry on and complete the Advanced Apprenticeship, which needed a further 6 months of full-time training.

I followed this with a further year of day-release, working at Rockware, while I gained my ONC. By this time I was enjoying studying again and found out that I could go on to do an HNC, which took two years, again on day release.

My training provider was Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce and both they and Rockware have been very supportive throughout my Apprenticeship and further studies.

During the first years of my Apprenticeship I was working in the mould shop repairing moulds for glass bottles and jars but I wanted a fresh challenge and asked about doing an AutoCAD course at the College in the evenings.

This led to my current job in the Technical and Design Centre, where I am working with customers to develop new packaging products for the food and drinks industries.

Meanwhile, I continued to study for higher-level qualifications. Wakefield College ran Bradford University’s Foundation Degree in Engineering Technology. Because I already had the HNC it meant I could get the Foundation Degree with a further year’s study on day-release. That allowed me to move on to the part-time B Eng degree course at Bradford. Two years later and I’ve just completed the degree and am waiting for the results.

The degree has helped me in my work in many ways especially with things like project and time management, as well as the many other technical skills that I have picked up. I’m now thinking of going on to do a Master’s Degree so that I can become a Chartered Engineer.

I would recommend this way of gaining a degree to anybody – I’ve got no student debt and have a great job.

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