Dean joined Baker Perkins in 2018 having already completed a Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship, and in the intervening years has achieved Level 3 and 4 qualifications respectively plus completed the first year of a Degree Apprenticeship in Integrated Engineering from Lincoln University.
Dean has been able to gain valuable skills and experience through the apprentice route, which have enabled him to progress quickly through the Company. He is now a Senior Mechanical Design Engineer and is a big advocate of people taking the apprenticeship route into a career in Engineering.
Many people who would like to pursue STEM careers think that the only way is by completing A levels and then going straight on to university. Whilst this is a successful route, and we have many graduate engineers at Baker Perkins, there are now more options than just this one traditional route. Being on an apprenticeship means that you can earn money and gain valuable experience whilst you study and gain your qualifications – including a degree!
Here Dean shares more on his learning and career journey so far, and why everyone should consider an apprenticeship:
“My interest in the apprenticeship scheme was born in my last year of school, influenced by my family and the apprenticeship method of learning.
On leaving school I got a job at Vibraplant, did an Intermediate Apprenticeship (Level 2 Diploma in Manufacturing Engineering) then started my Advanced Apprenticeship (Level 3 Diploma in Multi-skilled Engineering) before leaving to join Baker Perkins as a Technical Apprentice. I completed my Advanced Apprenticeship in June 2019. After progressing from this I was offered a Mechanical Design Engineer role and haven’t looked back since.
Baker Perkins have traditionally always offered apprenticeships and supported this route to learning and developing people. Apprenticeships can now be used to higher levels of learning and to develop skills throughout a person’s career.
I pitched doing a Higher Apprenticeship (Level 4 HNC in Mechanical Engineering) at Grantham College to the business and completed this in January 2021, then did the same to enrol on a Degree Apprenticeship (Level 6 in Integrated Engineering) at Lincoln University last September.
Yes my work/life/study balance is still challenging at times, but I wouldn’t have done anything differently and encourage everyone to think about an apprenticeship.
Based on my experiences, it’s the best way to learn because it brings different methods together. You sit in lectures learning by traditional watching and listening techniques, and the other side of the course then brings in the real-world experience and practical method of learning; applying the theoretical skills whilst being surround by experienced engineers and lecturers who are wanting to impart as much information as possible.
For me it’s this support system that makes apprenticeships so successful. This is only if you’re willing to put the time in and push the boundaries of the knowledge that you’ve been taught.”
For our business to continue to prosper and grow, it’s vital that we attract and inspire the next generation of engineering talent as well as seasoned professionals.
Our apprenticeship schemes are therefore integral to our talent and succession planning model. We invest in our apprenticeship infrastructure – HR, apprenticeship co-ordinators, mentors, STEM ambassadors, training providers and education partners – to support, nurture, and retain our young engineers.