With a unique combination of on-the-job training and classroom learning, apprenticeships provide a great alternative to the normal university route. MTC Technician Rishi Chohan, explains why it was the perfect option for him and how it has kick-started his career.
Rishi was one of the first cohort of apprentices to be trained at the MTC’s Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre. Following completion of his apprenticeship, Rishi secured a position in the MTC’s highly-regarded CNC Machining team, working on projects to improve machining processes and techniques in manufacturing industry.
We caught up with Rishi to talk about his experience as an apprentice and how it’s helped him get to where he is now.
Why did you choose an apprenticeship?
Whilst I didn’t mind academia, I always enjoyed learning through physical practice. Undertaking an engineering apprenticeship presented an opportunity to learn on the job. The MTC apprenticeship offered the opportunity for development post the apprenticeship through to sponsored higher education, such as a degree. This particularly appealed to me, as I could have the best of both worlds.
I have completed my apprenticeship a few years ago now, and I am midway through a part time degree studying the Applied Engineering Programme at Warwick University – WMG.
Were you always interested in a career in engineering?
I became interested in engineering whilst studying at school for my A-levels and I started exploring different routes to get there. I had received offers from the universities I had applied for, but always felt an apprenticeship seemed the most suitable.
I had submitted applications at multiple automotive firms, however I came across the MTC by chance. I needed assistance manufacturing my A-level design technology project, as we didn’t have the facilities at my school. I researched local companies to find someone who could help and came across the MTC.
I met with the workshop manager who assisted me in my project and informed me about the apprenticeship scheme. I went for a tour of the Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre and was amazed by the facilities and technology. Suddenly the other firms I had applied for didn’t seem as appealing, so I applied for the MTC apprenticeship and was offered a position.
What did you learn at the MTC?
I’ve learnt an extensive amount of varied skills whilst at the MTC, including practical and theoretical knowledge in manufacturing and engineering. I learnt about various manufacturing practises and now specialise in CNC machining and consult on design for manufacturing.
I’ve have also seen a significant development in my soft skills such as communication, teamwork, and overall confidence.
MTC have also sponsored my degree at Warwick University. It’s great to be able to apply the knowledge that I have gained on the course in the workplace.
What would you say are the benefits and what advice would you offer to those looking to apply to the MTC apprenticeship programme?
The working environment at the MTC is very unique and special. There is great opportunity for learning and developing yourself, whilst earning an income.
In terms of advice, it’s important to ensure you do as well as you can in school. It will only help in the future, especially if you intend on doing further education such as a degree.
Finally, give it your best, as you can only get out what you put in. Whilst the MTC offers an excellent apprenticeship, it is up to you to make the most out of it.
Would you recommend apprenticeships to others?
Absolutely. From my experience it has developed my working attitude and I found learning on the job helped me to absorb information more readily. It has also given me financial independence and helped me build the foundations for a successful career.