The Engineering Trust

Inspiration as to where an apprenticeship can take you.

This week, we chat to ex-ETT apprentice and Whitworth Scholar Dougie Hore. He talks about why he chose to do an apprenticeship, his journey through the programme and how his career and learning has developed since completing his apprenticeship last year.

Hi Dougie, thanks for taking the time to talk to us. 

Where you are with your career at present? 
Hi, I’m currently working in the nuclear industry as a Mechanical Engineer. Most recently, I have been working with additive manufacture used in developing prototype designs in an R&D department. In between working, I am also studying a part-time mechanical engineering degree. 

What attracted you to engineering and the apprenticeship you did? 
I have always had a love of engineering from a young age, grown from a fascination of wanting to know more about how things work. By the time I left school, having excelled both practically and theoretically in STEM subjects, I chose to do an apprenticeship as it seemed the most suitable method of applying my abilities and the best route into the engineering workplace. Rather than going directly to University after leaving school, the apprenticeship has allowed me to build skills which reinforce my academic studies. I’m now studying for a degree which when completed in 4 years’ time I will have that level of qualification plus 9 years of industry experience.  

Tell us about your apprenticeship. 
I started my apprenticeship in 2015 in a design office within the nuclear industry with a company who specialises in nuclear decommissioning, plant life extension and providing nuclear design specialist knowledge to the industry. I spent my apprenticeship working hard designing modular containment, mechanisms, a radiological assay turntable system, and working on transport packages. Some projects I provided support, allowing me to learn from experienced engineers, and others I lead, allowing me to learn as I went. 

Can you think of a challenge or low point you have faced during your career so far and how you overcame it? 
At any point during my academic studies, and apprenticeship in general, I realised that whenever I had a problem with anything that I couldn't solve on my own, there were always people who were willing to help. This, I put down to was them wanting to see young people develop and succeed. 
One of my biggest challenges, has always been public speaking. With the support of my peers, and those within my company, they helped me develop my public speaking by challenging me in a supportive manner. To some it comes easy. To others, such as myself, it does not. Practice, with the right guidance and support has helped me a lot. 

Give us a few things you feel you have gained from your engineering journey so far. 
Aside from the technical aspects of the apprenticeship, there have been many opportunities that would not have happened anywhere else. I have been on the Tall Ships twice, other team building activities, workplace relationships and networking, practical and theoretical skills within engineering, commercial awareness, planning and organisation. 

What advice would you pass onto someone who is just about to embark on their engineering career? 
Take control of your career as early as you can, and get the most out of every opportunity as you never know what those skills might do for you later, or what you will learn. 
Don’t be afraid to ask for help, not just in your apprenticeship, but in the rest of your career. Asking for help, in my opinion shows strength, not weakness. Let people help you, because it's both rewarding for you, and them. 
As for where you end up, you can achieve anything you set your mind to if you are determined and motivated enough. If you don't ask for it, it probably won't happen. 

How do you feel Engineering Trust Training helped you during your apprenticeship journey? 
ETT’s expertise and passion for supporting young engineers has helped me maintain high standards throughout my apprenticeship. 

Tell us about something in your career so far that you are proud to have achieved. 
My biggest achievement is becoming a Whitworth Scholar, which is a great honour. The Whitworth Scholarship is an "award for outstanding engineers, who have excellent academic and practical skills and the qualities needed to succeed in industry...".  

How do you see your career developing in the future? – Do you have any particular aspirations, ambitions & personal goals? 
My aim for my future is to develop my engineering abilities both practically, and academically, and eventually achieve Chartered status. All the while, I wish to input my learning back into the apprenticeship, and those developing behind me. The same as my mentors have done for me. 

Would you recommend doing an apprenticeship? 
Of course! Doing an apprenticeship with the support of an organisation like ETT and a great employer will set you up for life. The apprenticeship offers a great blend of practical and theoretical skills that will serve you well in your future, whatever your aspirations. 
Looking back at how much I have learnt, the apprenticeship has been one of the most valuable experiences I think I will ever have. 

Would you recommend us as an apprentice provider? 
Yes! ETT has been a major part in the successful start to my career, they take the responsibility of developing future engineers very seriously, with a great deal of passion. ETT is made up of highly competent, motivated people who take a great interest in the development of young people within the engineering industry. 

Is there anything else you would like to add? 
There are so many aspects to engineering that are unknown to the public. Work hard to find something you will enjoy, and you will never regret it. 

Thanks again Dougie for taking us through your apprenticeship journey and best of luck with the rest of your career! 

Questions by Mark, ETT Training Officer