Engineering Apprentice - Mechanical - General Mills

Daniel has worked within all areas of the engineering workforce and fully recommends doing an apprenticeship because there are many routes you can take within the industry.

Daniel Cornish, 20, Engineering Apprentice - Mechanical, General Mills

Daniel Cornish - General MillsTell us about yourself, what do you do?

I am a qualified electrician and am now completing my mechanical apprenticeship. I have worked in all areas of the engineering work force, having spent time with the refrigeration team, electrical & mechanical maintenance team, and also in the machine shop with the fabrication team. I like to keep fit and active and play semi professional football for Coldstream FC in the East of Scotland First Division.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

Being able to work in all areas of engineering, electrical and mechanical.

When did you start working for your company?

6th September 2010

What are the qualifications needed for this field?

HNC in Engineering

What was your route into the sector?

I left school and started at a local electrical company on an electrical apprenticeship where I spent 3 years at Newcastle College. But during my time at this company i got paid off due to a lack of business.

I applied to General Mills who were advertising for apprentices, and following interview they offered me an opportunity to complete my electrical apprenticeship and to then start a new one doing Mechanical Engineering at Northumberland College in Ashington. I took this job because i knew not many people would have the chance to do two apprenticeships and cover all aspects of engineering like as I am currently doing.

What attracted you to joining the industry?

More secure work, as an electrician the recession hit my old company hard and a few employees, including myself, were made redundant. General Mills are a massive company, which means job security is. Plus the opportunity to be a multi skilled engineer, covering both parts of the job, was too good to turn down.

What are your/your businesses key achievements to date?

Fully qualified electrician, B.A trained, ammonia handling training, refrigeration training, food handling training, Level 3 sub dip diploma in general engineering. Half way through my HNC in general engineering.

How have you benefitted from doing an apprenticeship as opposed to just getting a job without formal training or choosing a more traditional degree route?

Getting paid to learn your degree. Plus you are getting work experience whilst serving your time as an apprentice.

How do your employers support you in your apprentice?

My employers have supported me fully. They have had me working with all engineering teams at the factory, so i have experienced all aspects of the engineering trade. They supported me to finish my electrical apprenticeship i started before joining the company. They supported me with travel expenses and allowed me time off when i needed to do exams at Newcastle college.

If you had to give one reason why young people should consider this career path, what would it be?

After doing an apprenticeship you have a qualification and get work experience whilst doing this. Plus in engineering there are many career paths like management or more advanced engineering.

What advice would you give to other people looking to pursue a career in this sector?

I would fully recommend doing an engineering apprenticeship because they are many routes you can take within the industry. You can get into more advanced engineering and achieve higher degrees. Or you can go into management. Either way you can always progress and aren't limited to what you can achieve.

Where do you see your career going in the future?

Hopefully with the more experience I gain the more opportunities will arise within the company.

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