Kirklees College Food & Drink Engineering apprentice paves the way for a fantastic career


Apprenticeships are a fantastic way for you to change your career and learn something new! This could be with a new employer or with your current employer.

Kirklees College apprentice Lewis is currently undertaking the Level 3 Apprenticeship in Food & Drink Engineering Maintenance. Lewis decided to change career path after previously completing his Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Sports Biomedicine, Master of Research (MRes) in Cancer Biology and PhD in Neuroimaging & Cardiovascular Science.

Lewis wanted to change his career path and was interested in the apprenticeship pathway after learning that apprenticeships benefit from an inclusive salary, providing him with the ability to earn whilst achieving career-tailored training, skills, knowledge and work experience in preparation for a specifically defined job opportunity.

The apprenticeship programme consists of a combination of dedicated focused learning college blocks for academic teaching and learning of core skills and principles for various subjects. Full-time on-site work placements take place in-between blocks for acquiring further knowledge and experience from well-established industrial engineers, whilst also having the opportunity to apply, practice and build upon the newly gained skills acquired from college.

On a day-to-day basis, while working on-site, there are no two days that are alike — it is a very multifaceted role working on different things every day. For example, one day Lewis could be fixing a breakdown on the manufacturing lines and later be designing and fabricating components to improve manufacturing equipment using the fabrication skills taught at Kirklees College, such as welding and using the lathe.

Our experienced tutors from various industrial, manufacturing, engineering and scientific backgrounds leverage their expertise into specific areas of the apprenticeship curriculum to help the apprentice gain the best learning experience and upskill in theoretical knowledge and practical skills. Apprentices from other companies in the food and drink industry also attend Kirklees College which provides excellent networking and friendship-building opportunities.

Speaking about his progress on his apprenticeship, Lewis said:

“I started my first 6-month college block at Kirklees College with zero engineering experience. At the end of the college block, I learnt how to conduct welding (TIG) and thermal cutting (plasma cutting, oxy-gas cutting) activities, and produce replacement components using machining techniques such as manual milling and turning (lathe). I have also developed confidence and competence at applying these skills on-site in the workplace.”

Lewis’ employer, Premier Foods, supports all aspects of his apprenticeship, providing mentoring from experienced professionals and opportunities to collaborate and development for apprentices.

After finishing his apprenticeship, Lewis plans to continue working at Premier Foods, applying his newly acquired skills and knowledge from the qualification to become an integral part of the engineering department at the company.

If you’re interested in an apprenticeship with Kirklees College, get in touch with our Business Development Team at employers@kirkleescollege.ac.uk or take a look at our website: Apprenticeships – Kirklees College.

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