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ThomasMechanical Engineering Apprentice

19-year-old, Thomas, secured an amazing level 3 apprenticeship with Knowsley based, innovative engineering company, CAL International and has since progressed on to a HNC in Mechanical Engineering at University Centre St Helens, fully funded by his employer.

It was after successfully progressing from the level 2 Diploma in Engineering Technologies - Mechanical Engineering to the level 3 Diploma at St Helens College, that Thomas was made aware of an exciting opportunity to undertake an apprenticeship with CAL International. Upon reading the job description for the apprenticeship vacancy at CAL International, Thomas set to work perfecting his CV and covering letter, which he would later send alongside his application.

He was delighted to secure an interview, and then a two-day trial at CAL’s headquarters, which successfully resulted in him securing the mechanical engineering position.

Speaking about his experience as an apprentice, Thomas said, “CAL International is a fantastic employer and a great place to train and experience an incredible range of opportunities. I am learning from amazing people, who don’t just teach you, but help you to progress both personally and professionally.”

He added, “An engineering apprenticeship is such a varied role - I don’t just undertake design work, or CAD work, I lead projects, I organise meetings, I send things to clients, I secure quotes and I create and build prototypes. I really do believe that the experience an apprenticeship affords you, cannot be matched by learning from a book.”

Since joining CAL, Thomas has built an impressive portfolio of work across a range of key clients, including international brands and household names such as 3M, Scott safety, Roll Royce and Overfinch.

As part of his extensive role, he works on projects from early design concepts through to patent stage and client approval, ensuring the final product meets both the client brief and expectations, before release.

Explaining how his HNC has supported his career progression, Thomas said, “The HNC really complements what I am undertaking in the workplace as you are learning the theory on the HNC and the how and why behind the actions being undertaken on a day-to-day basis in employment. Modules such as engineering maths and engineering science, has opened up a completely different way of thinking for me.”

Thomas is also passionate about sharing his experiences with the next generation of engineers, which includes getting involved in community events, and national initiatives to promote STEM subjects to schools.

With just 18 months left before completing his HNC in Mechanical Engineering, Thomas said, “ I think my end goal is to progress to the BEng (Hons) Manufacturing Engineering at University Centre St Helens and to experience and learn as much as possible about the industry to enable me to climb the career ladder and see how far it takes me.”