• Job title Apprentice OME Technician
  • Organisation Cranfield University
  • CourseLevel 6 Ordnance, Munitions and Explosives Apprenticeship

My apprenticeship in one word: explosive!

Why did you decide to do an apprenticeship?

When completing my A levels, I wasn’t sure that getting a degree in the traditional way was right for me. My A level courses, despite being STEM subjects, had a practical element that aided my learning. I knew I wanted to get either an engineering or science degree so I researched alternative ways of obtaining them. I came across degree apprenticeships and it seemed perfect. You get a degree whilst being paid, you get to experience the principles you are being taught and it gives you a head start in industry. This seemed like the most beneficial option for me so I decided to pursue the apprenticeship route.

What was it that attracted you to this apprenticeship?

This apprenticeship had many things going for it, not least the unusual type of work that is carried out. It was an industry that I didn’t even know existed so it seemed exciting and new, whilst still having the engineering side that I desired.

Describe your apprenticeship experience so far…

I am two years in to my apprenticeship and so far my experience has been really enjoyable and exciting. I have learnt so much over the two years from lots of very experienced people and I can’t wait to see how I progress over the rest of my apprenticeship.

How has COTEC supported you with your apprenticeship?

The support from my line manager here at COTEC has been amazing. No request is too much for him and he will always do everything possible to help me. Likewise, the support from Cranfield has been great and I feel secure in the knowledge that both Cranfield and my line manager will support me whenever I need it.

How has the apprenticeship benefitted you personally and professionally?

This apprenticeship has benefitted me hugely. It has given me a great sense of self-confidence and it has got my name out into the industry very early. This allows me to build a professional reputation right from the start whilst also gaining a very diverse qualification and skill set that will be useful for the rest of my life.

Does the apprenticeship impact on your personal time and, if so, how do you manage this?

The apprenticeship does impact on my personal time occasionally, sometimes through studying for exams or assignments, and sometimes through essential admin work for the apprenticeship. The way I manage this time is by having set times during the week to do certain tasks and only leaving study to the weekend. Then, when all assessments are done, I don’t end up working on the weekend, giving me a lot more free time. Also, because you earn a salary with an apprenticeship, it also gives you the opportunity to do other things that you enjoy. For example, it is allowing me to do a lot more travelling.

What would you say to anyone else considering embarking on this apprenticeship?

Make sure you do your research and find out about whether an apprenticeship is right for you as it can be a great way of achieving a degree in a different and, in my opinion, more interesting and engaging way. The apprenticeship experience is genuinely one of a kind and is really rewarding, especially when you get to see the progress you are making.