Will is a level three apprentice from Northfield. Through Make UK’s apprentice scheme, he works at Brandauer Co Limited as a machinist in Newtown, north Birmingham.
Here are his thoughts on being an apprentice at Make UK:
“When I was 14, I started thinking about what sort of career I wanted, by trying to combine what I was good at with what I was interested in. I’ve always enjoyed science – I remember going on a school trip to the NEC in 2015, where we built rocket cars by taking a piece of foam and shaping it into a car. Engineering appealed to me as it meant I could apply science and maths in the real world.
“There were so many reasons I wanted to become an apprentice. I knew early on I didn’t want to go to university; I wanted to study alongside doing something practical, as well as to earn money while avoiding student debt.
“During the pandemic, applying for apprenticeships was difficult. There wasn’t much available, and I was worried about my future. I was excited when I found this opportunity as I saw it as the start of a great career and felt like I was really getting somewhere.
“My typical week at the moment is one day at Make UK doing my BTEC diploma, studying things like health and safety, engineering maths and design. The rest of the week I’m on site with my employer as a presser/operator, where I set up tools on the machines and make sure that they work correctly. One project I worked on recently was making metal nose clips for face masks during the pandemic.
“I’ve just started a new engineering project, which I manage by myself. I’m really excited to do something I enjoy that will help demonstrate my skills to the business. My plan is to become a fully trained press setter and operator at the end of my apprenticeship, so I’m taking every opportunity to grow my skills.
“Getting this apprenticeship has helped me kickstart my career. Securing your first opportunity is huge and I’m grateful I found a company that put their faith in me and gave me a chance to prove myself. My employer is fantastic, and I have all the support I need to thrive and succeed in my career.
“To help inspire other young people to consider engineering apprenticeships, I am an ambassador for Make UK. As part of this role, I was involved in charity fundraisers for both Papyrus and Standing Tall, and I have represented and promoted Make UK’s opportunities at events. It is an honour that the team trusts me to go out and represent Make UK – I’ve even been to a Gala dinner!
“The support from both Make UK and Brandauer has help me overcome challenges within myself. The confidence I have gained from this apprenticeship has allowed me to try a range of experiences such as bobsleighing and skeleton that I never would have considered before. Long term I want to go on to achieve great things as an engineer, this is just the first step!”