The Engineering Trust

My Apprenticeship Journey - Philip - Tooling & Design Engineer

We sat down with Philip, one of our 4th year apprentices who is about to complete his programme to find out about his journey into and through an apprenticeship with ETT.

Hi Philip, give us a quick outline of who you are and what you do.

Hi, my name is Philip and I work as a tooling and design engineer for OGM Ltd, an injection moulding company near Oxford. I have just finished my four-year apprenticeship with OGM and the Engineering Trust Training.

Great! Tell us about how you found yourself doing an engineering apprenticeship?

Four years ago I was in a very different situation. I was in my first year of A-levels taking the end of year exams, my plan at this point was to complete the sixth form then go off to university. This was the career path my sister and parents had taken, and was also the way that my school was encouraging me to go. Unfortunately, I failed my first year of A-levels which left me with a choice. I could either retake my first year exams at the same time as my second year exams, doubling the amount of exams I needed to take in my second year or leave the sixth form and find another career path. I decided to do the latter. I have never really done well in exams and the prospect of doing double really didn’t appeal to me, I probably wouldn’t do any better than the first year exams that I failed.

Ok, tough times, so what were your options after leaving the sixth form?

I could either go to college or find an apprenticeship, that seemed to be my two options. The idea of an apprenticeship really appealed to me so I went onto the government website and started applying for apprenticeships.

So is this where we come into the journey?

Yep, I found ETT during the process of looking for an apprenticeship, put in an application and completed the online assessment that you gave me to do. Very quickly after that you interviewed me then came back to me with a company that were interested in interviewing me, that was OGM. So I went to the interview and shortly after that you phoned me to say that OGM had offered me the apprenticeship.

Awesome, first company first interview!

I know it doesn’t always work like that but I got on really well and they obviously saw something in me and offered me an apprenticeship to train as a toolmaker.

So tell us about the apprenticeship.

I started by doing my initial block at college then moving back into the company to learn how they worked and learn the skills needed to do my job. At the end of my first year they offered me a position upstairs in the design office, which after careful consideration and advice from Rob, my ETT Training Officer, I agreed to. OGM sent me on a training courses to learn the CAD system and the skills needed to do my new job role. Since then I’ve been given many opportunities to expand my capabilities and learn new skills and they have helped me to learn as much as I can about the industry. All the way through my apprenticeship I have been supported by Rob and ETT, he too has helped me develop my skills and supported me when I’ve had to make any hard choices.

It sounds like you have had a really positive apprenticeship and it also sounds like you have become an asset to OGM too?

Yes, I now feel that I am a valued part of the company and that I have greatly benefited from taking this apprenticeship rather than following my original plan of completing A-level and then going to University. I love my job and the move upstairs into more of an engineering design role has really played to my strengths.

Can we take from this that you would recommend doing an apprenticeship?

100% yes, I would encourage everyone regardless of if you are doing well at school or not to consider an apprenticeship.  

Would you recommend us also as an apprentice provider?

Ha, you wouldn’t like it if I said no…! Yes, if you are interested in engineering and want to do an apprenticeship then you should go through the Engineering Trust Training.

Good luck with the rest of your career Philip!

Written by Rob, Training Officer