Two youngsters have become the first to successfully complete apprenticeships at a South Derbyshire engineering specialist – and they’ve done it 12 months ahead of schedule.
Cameron Reeves and Ed Cartwright have spent the last two years learning on the job with the Carfulan Group, which in partnership with the JCB Academy offers apprentices a unique insight into the world-leading manufacturing technology it supplies to customers across the UK.
Having completed a range of assessments in subjects as diverse as mechanical engineering, mathematics and electronics, the pair have now been recognised with an Advanced Level Apprenticeship in Engineering Manufacture (Engineering Technical Support), achieving the qualification a whole year ahead of target.
Cameron, 19, has now officially taken up a position as a Trainee Applications Engineer for OGP UK, the longest-established of the Carfulan Group’s five companies and a specialist in advanced optical and multi-sensor metrology systems.
Ed, 20, has become a fully fledged Service Engineer with ZOLLER UK, a supplier of tool presetting, inspection and management solutions, and is already regularly out on the road offering support to customers.
Cameron, who lives in Swadlincote, said: “I knew I didn’t want to go into the sixth form or college after finishing school, but I did want to earn and learn. It’s been great to get work experience while doing my qualifications at the same time.
“The technical education side of the course was fairly straightforward, but coming into such a fast-paced business means you go from zero to 100mph in terms of your engineering knowledge.
“You have to know a wide range of products and there’s so much to take in, which has been one of the biggest challenges, but it’s nice as you’re not put under any pressure – there’s a freedom to make mistakes.
“Now it’s about becoming more and more skilled at the job, while taking on more responsibility.”
Ed, from Shardlow, said: “It’s nice to have finished the course and to be able to crack on with the job now, with nothing holding you back.
“We’ve got to put in as much effort as we can, get a good amount of experience under our belts and see where it takes us.
“It’s a professional but relaxed working environment at the Carfulan Group, with everyone happy to talk to you and give you their time.”
The Carfulan Group has a trio of other apprentices well into a three-year specialised programme designed to develop their formal engineering knowledge and skills.
Working alongside experienced professionals, they are gaining invaluable knowledge in areas such as health and safety, computer-aided design (CAD) software techniques and machine installation and calibration.
This is delivered through both practical and theoretical methods, ensuring apprentices develop the wide range of skills they will need to succeed in an engineering career.
Carfulan Group Managing Director Chris Fulton said: “We have a successful track record of investing in local talent and helping it to come to fruition in an engineering environment.
“Cameron and Ed have already proved themselves to be valuable members of the team and, thanks to their dedication and strong work ethic, it’s no surprise to us that they’ve secured their qualifications so quickly.
“They should be very proud of themselves – we’re certainly very proud of them.”