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Topic Title: Words of wisdom needed for apprentice
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Created On: 26 December 2013 02:55 PM
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 26 December 2013 02:55 PM
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Fred123

Posts: 1
Joined: 26 December 2013

Hi I'm a mechanical engineering apprentice working in a CNC machine shop. I'm doing an Nvq in cnc so it is a must that I work in there. I'm also studying for a hnc in mechanical engineering.

My problem is I feel like I'm rubbish at practical engineering skills such as setting cnc machines and manual lathe and milling work. I feel like maybe I would enjoy working in the planning office as a future career. Obviously I'm just going to have to work hard At what I'm doing now to pass the framework but wondered if I wanted to change after would my apprenticeship help me in getting a job in the planning office or anything.
 16 January 2014 11:09 PM
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l30f1tz

Posts: 2
Joined: 02 June 2013

You are an apprentice! You are there to learn so don't be thinking you are rubbish at your job.

When I served my time working as an apprentice electrician its very easy to feel overwhelmed when you see experienced people doing something easily that you may have struggled with. Its all down to experience, you learn from your mistakes and will improve as time goes on.

If you are struggling doing some CNC/lathe stuff, ask experienced people to give you a hand and guidance. For instance I'd say, I seen you doing x will you show me how you do that as its better than the way I do it etc. Most people are more than willing to help you just have to ask.
 17 January 2014 06:27 PM
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kengreen

Posts: 400
Joined: 15 April 2013

I second the above Post.

You have to decide whether your strength lies in your hands or in your head?

Every skill requires a period of learning and always remember that advice from Winston Churchill - "Never give up; never; never; never; never; NEVER! "
 17 January 2014 06:44 PM
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OMS

Posts: 19469
Joined: 23 March 2004

Obviously I'm just going to have to work hard At what I'm doing now to pass the framework but wondered if I wanted to change after would my apprenticeship help me in getting a job in the planning office or anything.


OK - in part, you've answered your own question.

The practical skills develop with experience - up to a certain level based on your individual capability. I used to struggle a bit with some of the turning exercises we were given as apprentices (and my apprenticeship was electrical, so they weren't trying to make toolmakers out of us) - so I used to make little "foreigners" during my lunchbreak just to get more experience of actually handling the lathe and understanding what it (and I) was capable of - I think my mum has still got a small pair of brass candlesticks I made as a bit of a self test that I could make one (easy) and then make a dimensionally exact copy (not so easy). They are threaded in two parts so I could take them out a bit at a time in my grub box

From there, then if you decide that it really isn't for you (or if you master it, you want more challenges) then look at further education - the combination of an apprenticeship followed by say a HND then a degree would more than help you make a move, most empoyers would snap you up in my experience.

There is absolutely no problem with doing a trade first and then progressing - in fact, I would say that it is the formation of some of the very best engineers

Good luck and stick at it

Regards

OMS

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