Apprentice Case Study: Kyle Sterry Shares His Apprenticeship Journey


Kyle Sterry, 21 from Higham Ferrers, near Northamptonshire, is in the final year of a Fabrication and Welding Engineering apprenticeship with multi-disciplinary engineering firm, adi Group, which has a base in Caldicott.

What led you to choosing the Apprenticeship route into engineering?
“When I was at school I always took an interest in engineering, but I wasn’t sure how to get into the industry. I decided to try A-Levels at sixth form, but quickly realised that it wasn’t for me, so I dropped out after the first year in an attempt to find an engineering apprenticeship.

“My dad has an engineering background, which is where my initial interest came from, and he mentioned adi Group to me. I had been applying everywhere and was getting no luck, so I was really pleased when I was asked for interview.

“I started immediately, and not really knowing what to expect it was really great to get stuck into practical working and projects straight away. I think skills development while working is what makes apprenticeships so much better than A-levels, and adi Group have such a hands on approach it means the experience is invaluable.

“I started with the basics like cutting materials for the other engineers, and as I built more skills and developed my welding I moved onto more standalone opportunities where I was working on projects by myself. I was the first engineering apprentice within our Southern Division, but now I also look after another apprentice, which is helping me to develop mentoring skills at the same time.

What have you learnt during your Apprenticeship with adi Group?

Year One:

In the first year of my Apprenticeship I achieved a level two qualification in fabrication and welding at Northampton College.

I spent the first year in the workshop developing my skills and getting hands on with the tools carrying out tasks such as; pressure testing and cleaning pipework, learning the basics of welding and, gaining confidence using power tools such as grinders and drills. I also gained my IPAF licence.

Six months in to my first year I started to get a good understanding of mechanical technical drawings, the tolerances of fabrications, materials needed for the job and, developing method statements for fabrications.

Year Two:
In the second year of my Apprenticeship at adi Group, I started my level three technical qualification in fabrication and welding at Northampton College.

I began to undertake more responsibility as I began to start working on site for one of adi Group’s clients at a chocolate factory. Whilst working on site I developed many skills ranging from pipe fitting techniques and customer relations, through to learning how to represent adi Group appropriately whilst working on a customer site.

I developed better understanding in the following of further welding techniques, quality of work required for fabrications and the whole process of a project from measuring through to installation.

Year Three:
In my third year I completed my level three technical qualification in fabrication and welding at Northampton College.

Building on from my second year, I continued to work on site at the chocolate factory and also had the opportunity to work at other sites on projects across multiple market sectors. My responsibility increased and I developed my knowledge of specialist maintenance on site, measuring and planning small pipework jobs. I also gained my pipe welding coding certifications.

What’s next for you once you complete your Apprenticeship at adi Group?
As I have finished my apprenticeship now I am working towards my extra NVQ qualification in my own time. I hope to spend many years working with adi Group as they are a great employer and excellent company to work for.

I am aspiring to work my way up the company to be in charge of the day-to-day running of large projects and fulfil more of a customer facing role as I progress. I hope to be more involved in engineering documentation and quoting for projects.

I’m also planning to broaden my horizons with further technical qualifications to build on what I learnt in my apprenticeship.

What advice do you have for anyone currently doing an Apprenticeship?

-Ask about anything you are unsure about! Mentors and fellow work colleagues have many years’ experience and will be more than happy to help when they can

-Put in your own time to learn the skills needed for the job, this will show your peers and bosses that you are keen to learn and it will speed up the learning process for yourself.

-If you have an idea share it with someone! It could save a lot of time and money.

– Be outgoing and try new things, apprentices can make mistakes and they are easy to learn from!

– Have fun in your job!!

For more information about adi Group apprenticeships and careers please visit

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