From education to employment

Engineering apprentice forges Ad-Vance placement

A talented engineering apprentice from South Eastern Regional College (SERC) has secured a sought-after work placement with one of the UK’s leading specialist precision engineering companies Ad-vance Engineering.

Nathan McCourt aged 19, from Stoneyford, works as an apprentice machinist at the company and will do so for the remaining two years of his apprenticeship. Nathan, who is in the second year of his apprenticeship, is gaining invaluable practical work experience and skills in all aspects of engineering.

Ad-vance Engineering, based on the Bog Road Lisburn, specialises in bespoke injection moulding tools for the plastics manufacturing industry across the globe.

Having initially enrolled to study the Cambridge Technical Diploma in IT after his GCSE’s Nathan then progressed to the level 2 traineeship in Engineering. He hopes to progress to the level 3 programme in September.

Nathan said, “I was so pleased when I heard I secured this fantastic employment opportunity. My tutor at SERC helped me secure the placement and I’m really looking forward to what my future career prospects may hold. My friend attended SERC and I had heard good things about the College from him, so I decided to enrol. The facilities are fantastic, and I enjoy the hands-on approach to learning rather than being in a classroom all day.

“Working with Ad-Vance Engineering has given me a really sound knowledge in a wide range of areas, which I wouldn’t have had the chance to learn about in my studies. My daily tasks include turning, milling, CNC machine programming and operation, and assembly of tools.”

Ad-vance Engineering Technical Director Samuel Vance said: “We are really pleased to work with SERC to offer Nathan the opportunity to gain a real insight into the industry. If this is the quality of apprentices that SERC produce, then I would recommend them to anyone and we look forward to welcoming many more apprentices in the future. Attracting the right people and developing them within our business is vital for us achieving our business goals and will help us create a new generation of great engineers who can contribute to the future growth of the company. Nathan is involved in different areas of the business to give him a thorough understanding of how the company and each department works.”

Nathans tutor Ivan Kelly who helped Nathan secure the placement said “It is fantastic for Nathan to secure a placement with such a unique employer. We are always looking for employers to offer valuable work placements and I am delighted we are now working with Ad-vance Engineering to help them develop their future workforce, nature talent within the industry and hone specialist traditional skills.

“We know from discussions with industry just how important placements are in terms helping to kick-start careers, with preference often given to students who have industrial experience as part of their course.”

During his studies Nathan also took part in and won an inter-college welding skills competition which he said looks great on his CV and gives him experience of working under pressure to tight deadlines.

Thanks to Nathans success and positive experience at SERC, his younger brother Dylan decided to enroll and is now studying motor vehicle apprenticeship at the college.

Applications for full-time courses are now open and students can apply online at Course listings are now available and can be collected from all main campus receptions.

For more information please call SERC on 0345 600 7555.

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