apprentice at Sterling Thermal Technology received a certificate from the production manager

Celebrating a successful apprentice

Sterling TT is passionate about growing and developing talent within the business. Apprenticeships are a fantastic way to achieve this. Last week, we celebrated Jack’s successful apprenticeship, handing him his certificate.

“Hiring apprentices allows us to build a productive and effective workforce. A workforce that is motivated, skilled, and accurately qualified. Jack is a brilliant example of how well apprenticeships work within our business,” said Laura Spanou, our Human Resources Business Partner.

We interviewed Jack as we thought his experience was worth sharing to encourage other youngsters to go through an apprenticeship. But, also because his experience is insightful.

While Jack started as a new apprentice machinist, he enrolled in a 4-year course, which would qualify him academically and practically. The first year consisted of full-time learning at the training provider Make UK. “I learnt the fundamentals of a broad range of subjects, including academic topics such as mathematics and physics related to the engineering world. I also studied specialist subjects like CAD and engineering drawings. I knew these would benefit me as an upcoming machinist because reading and understanding drawings is vital to perform this job,” said Jack.

CNC machining by a man in one of Sterling Thermal Technology's factoriesHe continued explaining his journey. “Besides the fundamental subjects, I had daily training on the shop floor. My colleagues would show me and test me on CNC machining (3 axis mill), bench fitting, trimming, manual milling and grinding. In addition to developing a range of skills across the department and understanding the part they would play when working for Sterling TT, I realised what specific roles I liked. I must say I enjoyed all the activities, but I had a passion for CNC operating as well as the Lathe work. It was ideal due to the type of work we do at Sterling TT.

I moved on to the second year of my apprenticeship, where I was on day release. It means I was working at Sterling TT, acquiring job skills for four days a week, and going to college one day a week to achieve a level 3 qualification. I was delighted because I learned real-life skills while being productive for my company. I also grasped the type of product Sterling TT is producing and felt I could use some of my college skills in tandem.

I moved onto my 3rd year, where my National Vocational Qualification work would be finished before gathering evidence for my portfolio. I was still on day release, and I found my role as a CNC and manual machinist at Sterling TT. At this stage, I felt I had gained a lot of knowledge and thoroughly enjoyed producing parts daily. Finally, during my 4th year, I was heavily focused on gaining evidence to produce job-write ups for my portfolio. It means writing informative summaries of jobs I was working on to prove I had the underpinning knowledge necessary to achieve my machinist qualification.”

Jack Patel with his apprentice certificate surrounded by colleaguesWe asked Jack if it was laborious to do these. As an enthusiastic, hard-working person, Jack naturally answered, “this was a great opportunity to demonstrate the skills I’d acquired and all the methodical procedures I have been taught. I worked hard to qualify for my apprenticeship and enjoy the process. I would strongly recommend it to anyone, no matter how old you are.”

Today, Jack is a valued member of our Sterling TT team. He has undertaken numerous projects so far using a range of machining techniques and machinery so that, as a business, we continue to strive to improve.