From education to employment

Impressive apprentice engineering a promising career with Renishaw

Ryan Harris

Whether it’s inspiring future engineers or helping his employer to improve efficiency and diagnose and fix faults, Ryan Harris has proved to be an “impressive” apprentice.

Ryan, 21, from Hawthorn, Pontypridd, is a process development technician improver based at global precision engineering company Renishaw’s Miskin site, near Pontyclun.

During his apprenticeship, Ryan has saved the company thousands of pounds with a series of projects he has undertaken. These include modifying machines to save energy and improving the ordering and storing processes for the low volume production.

His successful learning journey has resulted in Ryan being shortlisted for the Tomorrow’s Talent award at the prestigious Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2021.

This annual celebration of outstanding achievement in training and apprenticeships will see 35 finalists compete in 12 categories for awards. The winners will be announced at a virtual awards ceremony on April 29.

Highlight of the work-based learning calendar, the awards showcase businesses and individuals who have excelled on the Welsh Government’s Apprenticeship and Traineeship Programmes and gone the extra mile to achieve success during these unprecedented times.

The awards are jointly organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW). Openreach, the UK’s digital network business and passionate supporter of apprenticeships, has renewed its headline sponsorship of the awards.

The Apprenticeship Programme in Wales is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.

Ryan mentors new apprentices and has taken on the role of a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) ambassador to promote engineering in schools, which has improved his self-confidence and presentation skills.

He was also one of four mechanical engineering students from Coleg y Cymoedd to take part in a two-week visit to Stadler in Germany as part of the EU-funded Erasmus Programme which provides opportunities to study or gain work experience in a different European country.

Having achieved a series of engineering qualifications through the college and at Renishaw, including an Apprenticeship in Installation and Commissioning, Ryan is now working towards a Pearson Mechanical HNC delivered by Bridgend College.

His ambition is to obtain a Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Degree (BEng) to become a process development engineer.

Ryan says he was inspired to pursue an engineering career by a school teacher and by a visit to Renishaw where he saw “futuristic product lines and super clean work areas”.

“Renishaw has dedicated so much time and resources into providing their Apprenticeship Programmes, with great engineering opportunities and I’m proud to be a part of it,” he said. “I’ve always been praised during my apprenticeship and that has helped boost my confidence and inspire me to continually improve in my role.”

Simon Biggs, Renishaw’s education outreach officer and apprentice manager for Miskin, describes Ryan as an “impressive” apprentice who has achieved recognition within the company for taking on and completing challenging projects to improve efficiency and reduce costs.

Minister for the Economy, Transport and North Wales, Ken Skates, said:

“Our Apprenticeship and Traineeship Programmes are helping people fulfil their career ambitions and I’m delighted we have already reached our target of creating 100,000 apprenticeships in this Senedd term. 

“This has been key in helping apprentices of all ages to gain important skills and experience that we know businesses across all sectors of the economy in Wales really need. This will be vital as we emerge from the pandemic.

“Apprenticeship Awards Cymru provides an excellent opportunity to celebrate and showcase the achievements of all involved, from star apprentices to skilled learning providers.

“I’d like to congratulate all the finalists announced for this year’s event and wish each and every one all the best for the future.”

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