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Ben Carruthers, Apprentice Production Engineer.

Interested in finding out what it is like to learn via an apprenticeship? Some of our previous and current apprentices share their experiences on working for James Walker whilst undertaking qualifications.

Name: Ben Carruthers
Role: Apprentice Production Engineer

Current position within James Walker?
I am currently an Apprentice Production Engineer within James Walker on the Cockermouth site. However I served my time in my first apprenticeship within the drawing office as an apprentice draughtsman, also on the Cockermouth site.

Qualifications gained before Joining James Walker?
Prior to joining James Walker I was qualified to AS level in Business Studies and Product design.

Why did you decide to apply for an Apprenticeship within James Walker?
I applied for an apprenticeship within James Walker initially as the role advertised was something which I felt like I would enjoy and be able to progress me through my career. When I applied for my second apprenticeship here, it was due to the new role being more focused on the aspects of my job which I enjoyed the most.

What did you have to do while studying for your Apprenticeship?
I attended Lakes College to complete a level 3 diploma in Mechanical Engineering technical support, whilst also completing level 2 courses in milling, turning and hand fitting. I also attended several training courses in Wakefield to learn how to use the CNC programming software used in the drawing office. I also attended IOSH, and health and safety courses. On my current apprenticeship I attend Lakes College to complete my HNC course in mechanical engineering.

What have you gained from completing an apprenticeship vs traditional employment into a role within the company?
From my apprenticeship I gained several qualifications which I would not have if I was employed traditionally within the company, I also gained knowledge regarding my role and the business which I may have not learned if I was not an apprentice.

Have you done anything else alongside / following your Apprenticeship?
I have recently started a Higher Apprenticeship within James Walker. Due to the experience and knowledge gained from my initial apprenticeship, it has allowed me to progress into a different department within the company.

Your thoughts about Apprenticeships within James Walker and would you recommend it to others? James Walker are fully supportive of their apprenticeships and have never denied me an opportunity to improve or better myself so far, they are extremely accommodating with any form of studying or development and push their apprentices to do the best they can. Throughout the year there are several courses available for their staff which just adds to the core qualification you will obtain when you finish. I would recommend James Walker to anybody looking to start an apprenticeship.

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