Apprentice Case Study: George Abbott Shares His Apprenticeship Journey

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George Abbott, 21 from Paulton, near Bath, is in the final year of a mechanical engineering apprenticeship with multi-disciplinary engineering firm, adi Group, which has a base in Frome.

What led you to choosing the Apprenticeship route into engineering?

“I did A-levels at school, and originally wanted to become a golf professional. I was playing a lot and working at the pro shop at the golf club, but after a while I started to realise how difficult it was to build a career in, and decided to look at what else I could do.”
“I’d always been interested in finding out how things work, and wanted to play a part in something bigger. Engineering interested me because it is all about coming up with something different to what has been done before. “

“Everyone at school was pushing me towards university, but I’m much more of a hands-on person, so I’ve always found it hard to learn from PowerPoint slides. I’d done ok at school, but I wasn’t interested in spending four years on something that might not be any use in the future.”

“I looked online at apprenticeships and found that because of my A-levels, I could start with a level 3 qualification. I finished that in 12 months and have now also completed a higher apprenticeship.”

What have you learnt during your Apprenticeship with adi Group?

Year One:
In my first year of my Apprenticeship I achieved a level three qualification in Welding and Fabrication at Radstock College.

I spent the first year in the workshop getting hands on with the tools carrying out a range of tasks including; cleaning welds, fabricating steelwork, carrying out small welding works, pressure testing pipework and vessels.

After six months I started to develop good understanding of engineering drawings (2D projections and layouts), engineering documentation, the importance of quality, materials and tolerances.

Year Two:
In the second year of my Apprenticeship with adi Group I started my level 3 technical qualification in Mechanical Engineering at Bath College and built up confidence to produce technical drawings for small works. I also gained more experience in Pipework systems, technical piping and instrument drawings and specialist equipment.

My level of involvement in various projects also increased and I got to experience putting together engineering documentation for customers (estimating, quotations and ordering materials), drawing work (AutoCAD 2D/3D), site work (pipe installations and welding supports) and assisting the team in the workshop.

Year Three:
In my third year I completed my level 3 technical qualification achieving a double distinction which saw me successfully design and build a wind powered water pump for my course project.

In my third year at adi Group, I moved to a permanent role in the adi Process Pipework office and was given more responsibility. My Apprenticeship role progressed to include producing technical drawings (2D & 3D), carrying out site surveys, producing finalised engineering drawings, attending site meetings, producing technical specifications for materials, dealing with customer requirements and, producing small work quotations.

What’s next for you once you complete your Apprenticeship at adi Group?
After successfully completing my three year apprenticeship, I will be starting a new job role as a Junior Project Supervisor within adi Group. The role will be building on all of the skills and knowledge I acquired throughout my apprenticeship and will include; Estimating, project management duties on projects, technical drawing work, engineering documentation, producing contract files, dealing directly with adi Group customers and, site surveying.

What advice do you have for anyone currently doing an Apprenticeship?
– Use your mentors for advice, they will take time out of their day to help you
– Don’t be afraid to ask questions to your peers as they will be competent in what you’re learning to do
– Be confident to speak up if you have an idea
– Use a notepad to write down anything new you’ve learnt
– Be willing to learn and try anything you’re asked to do, apprentices are allowed to get things wrong!

Would you recommend an apprenticeship to other young people?
“I’d highly recommend an apprenticeship as a route into work to other young people. Its given me the opportunity to progress in a career that I really enjoy, and that will take me places. It’s unlocked a lot of doors for me, and there are a few routes that I can go down in the future. At the moment I want to become part of the management, running jobs and leading a team. But to go into that it’s really important to understand how things work – otherwise you’re just transferring theoretical information from one place to another.

For more information about adi Group apprenticeships and careers please visit www.adiltd.co.uk/careers.