Samuel’s Story

Iattend Truro College and am employed by WES Engineering Solutions. They have several companies under their control; Welding Electrode Store, British Classic Cars and WES Hard metal. I work machines and make components for all of them.

I’ve always been what most people call a geek, which I completely agree with. At a young age I was enthralled by Lego and Mechano. Later in my teen years I started experimenting with computer sciences and microprocessors. I learnt all this from YouTube videos and tutorials, but looking back they weren’t the best. When it came to jobs I was certain my career would be involved in the production or creation of physical world products. So much so that I even invested in my own 2 axis Laser Cutter and Engraver.

My first step towards my apprenticeship was earlier in my teen years when I had to find work experience in school. I completed a week’s work within the factory and on the third day I was approached and given the offer for a future placement as an apprentice. As soon as I passed my GCSE’s, I wrote a letter to Mr Hosking with my grades and the deal was done.

I did consider Sixth Form and College, but I had my doubts. I learn best from viewing and doing tasks as opposed to reading about it. There was a point where I was leaning towards college but after doing another tour of WES, I had made my mind up. The prime reason I chose to do an apprenticeship was because on top of work experience, Andrew Hosking (Owner of WES) gave me a full tour of his factory with an amazing level of detail. Seeing the efficiency of WES made me ever more eager to become part of the greater picture. This event just tied the loose strings of doubt within my mind.

Because of my apprenticeship, I own my own vehicle, earn a steady wage allowing me to save for my future.

I began my apprenticeship programme two months after finishing secondary school. I barely skipped a beat before entering WES. My apprenticeship consists of two courses. The first two years award me a level two mechanical manufacturing engineering diploma, the last two years will award me the level three. My CNC operator apprenticeship consists of learning how to programme, control and set Computer Numerically Controlled machines in order to produce a variety of parts and components spanning different materials, forms and purposes. I also attend College where I learn a variety of theories specified to manufacturing including cutting tools, laws concerning engineering and material properties.

As much as I appreciate literature and the vast amount of knowledge a piece of text can hold, I much prefer learning from attempting an action. With an apprenticeship such as mine; I am only feet away from a skilled man who has years of experience and can bestow their knowledge to me and aid me in any way I need. I have gained many responsibilities within WES. My day-to-day work consists of the creation of programmes to machine components, quality and inspection tests on parts to ensure accuracy and precision, algebraic and trigonometry based design solutions and helping the company in any way possible.

I have varying levels of responsibilities within WES. Some are less urgent and are simple tasks complete at request, others such as precision component machining and inspecting are crucial. If I approve a faulty part, or damage a part I could cost the company thousands. Admittedly the latter sounds scary but it came with time, training and confidence and I am happy to say it has been a while since I’ve had any major faults, but you learn by your mistakes. I have skills branching into many areas in the industry trailing from office work and data handling, to machining and design. From this point onwards I have a tight grip and understanding on the principles of the engineering and manufacturing trades.

At College, my training is tailor made to my strengths and weaknesses. I am taught how to utilise the best of my abilities and overcome my weaknesses. My reviews allow input from both myself and my managers creating a friendly yet effective learning programme yielding the best results possible.

Because of my apprenticeship, I own my own vehicle, earn a steady wage allowing me to save for my future, get priceless training and enjoy the first steps into a career. This is all thanks to my apprenticeship scheme. At the age of nineteen I am qualified to be both an EDM operator and a computer aided design technician; I’ve gained a huge head start in my career and I can keep the momentum going to reach new highs much earlier than some other people do.

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