Career profiles

Career profile - Apprentice

“I have learnt so many new skills and gained valuable experience that will help me throughout my future career.”


Degree/Background

I joined the CCFE Advanced Apprenticeship Scheme after completing my A-Levels at school. One of my A-Levels was Product Design; I really enjoyed working on projects, solving problems and making things. This, along with A-Level Physics, got me interested in a career in Engineering.

What was your career path and how did you come to work at CCFE?

I joined the four year Advanced Apprenticeship Scheme at CCFE, as a Mechanical Engineering Apprentice. I was full time at Abingdon and Witney College for the first six months and then I came onto site four days a week and carried on at college one day a week. On site, apprentices complete ten three-month placements in a variety of departments. Some of the placements I have been to include Special Techniques, Stress Analysis, Power Supplies, Engineering Installation, Diagnostics and Health Physics. In the final year apprentices spend their time in their favourite department and are trained in that area as a technician. I am completing my final year in Engineering Implementation Department.

What is your current role?

My current role is within the Engineering Implementation Group working on projects on both JET and MAST. I am coming to the end of an NVQ Level 3 in Technical Support: Technical Services. This has involved planning projects, design work, finding solutions to problems and implementing solutions.

Why do you enjoy working in fusion research?

I enjoy working in fusion research, because it provides very interesting and unique work. There is a lot to learn and opportunities to get involved in so many different projects. An apprenticeship in fusion research offers placements in many different departments and the chance to work with lots of interesting people.

Describe your experience of working at CCFE.

I have had a great experience working at CCFE during my apprenticeship. I have learnt so many new skills and gained valuable experience that will help me throughout my future career. I have met so many people and made some good friends, as well as thoroughly enjoying the work I have been given.

What do you like about working at CCFE?

Being part of the apprenticeship scheme means that I have made lots of friends that I see outside of work as well. There are often social events both with apprentices and other colleagues, which are very enjoyable. I really like how friendly everyone is and how willing people are to give their time to help you.

How does CCFE encourage career development?

I have been in part-time education since I started work at CCFE. I did an ONC and NVQ2 at the start of the apprenticeship, I am about to finish an NVQ3 and I am also studying at a local college to complete a Foundation Degree in Mechanical Engineering. CCFE is very supportive of career development and education, and I hope to go on to complete an Honours Degree in future. If there are training courses that will benefit your work it is encouraged that you do the training.