“Some people put degrees on the CV - that's good, brilliant, you know all your theoretical side, but EngTech will say hold on mate, they’ve actually worked in engineering, they know what’s going on and have a level of professionalism so it helps people in jobs. It’s definitely a benchmark and really worthwhile doing.”
Paul began his engineering career as a proof inspection apprentice for Rolls-Royce. He was able to apply for Engineering Technician (EngTech) professional registration at the end of his apprenticeship and more recently has moved up in the company, taking on a new role as a process engineer.
Paul Addicott has recently become a process engineer at Rolls-Royce, moving on from his role as proof inspector at the company. Currently his position spans both the old and new roles, whilst they train up someone new to replace him. He is tasked with looking after the production programming of the Bristol foundry’s coordinate measuring machines (CMMs); the day to day running of them, updating programmes, creating new programmes and providing support to the foundry’s engineering and production community.
Taking the apprenticeship route into engineering
Paul chose the apprenticeship route into engineering. After completing his GCSEs he went to a local college and completed a national diploma before joining Rolls-Royce’s three and a half year technical apprenticeship in proof inspection. Whilst being trained on the job, he was also able to complete a level two NVQ in performing engineering operations as well as a level three NVQ in proof inspection.
“At the same time I carried on my academic education by starting to study for a foundation degree and now I’m just about to complete my full BEng mechanical engineering degree at the University of West of England,” he says. “It’s been hard trying to juggle work and university commitments as well as have some kind of life outside of that, but I’m proud to have achieved this.”
Getting his hands dirty on big projects
Paul loves getting his hands dirty and challenging himself. One of his favourite projects at work was being involved in the upgrading of the foundry’s systems.
“The biggest thing was having to upgrade our systems - keeping production working and trying not to have an impact on deliveries to customers and quality whilst undertaking the upgrading work. It was a complete re-write, we started from scratch basically,” he says.
“I was really challenged - I had to make sure all the components fitted together, they all worked, talked to one another correctly etc. It was tough going, but it’s really nice to get into the nitty gritty bits and help define the processes we’ll be using going forward. The thing I like seeing is the tangible results that come out of the early discussions.”
Applying for EngTech professional registration
As the Rolls-Royce apprenticeship scheme is approved by the IET, Paul was able to apply for EngTech professional registration quite soon after the completion of his programme.
“I had completed my NVQs and all I had to do to gain EngTech was to complete an extra module of the NVQ as effectively I had achieved the competencies by just doing my training and job,” he says. “Being on an IET approved scheme made the application a doddle!”
“It was important to get this and add it to my CV, to say I’d gained EngTech professional registration. It’s not an easy thing to achieve, you have to prove you can work to that level,” he continues. “It’s good because it gives people confidence that you know what you’re on about - you’ve got experience and a level of professionalism in what you do.”
Professional registration can help your career
Paul strongly believes that professional registration can help career prospects.
“Because people know you’re at that level I think it makes career progression a lot easier,” he says.
“I would really recommend it because it bestows a status,” he says. “It shows you’re an engineer, have worked in the real world and don’t just have purely theoretical knowledge that you’d gain from a degree.