JCB apprentices engineer success

News Story
- 22 Sep 2016 ( #788 ) - Rocester, United Kingdom
2 min read
JCB's graduates: Todd Bradshaw, Sam Turner, Jak Fuce, Catherine Bull, Oliver Jones, David Layne, Adam Varley and Robert Clark.
JCB's graduates: Todd Bradshaw, Sam Turner, Jak Fuce, Catherine Bull, Oliver Jones, David Layne, Adam Varley and Robert Clark.
Eight JCB apprentices are celebrating their graduation with foundation degrees - without running up massive student debts.

The group chose to 'earn while they learn' by becoming higher apprentices at JCB, rather than heading to university. Their decision is now paying dividends as all have qualified with foundation degrees in engineering without spending a single penny on their education.

The group became JCB Higher Apprentices in 2013, combining study with practical workplace learning. Now they are embarking on further study which will see them attain full Bachelor of Engineering degrees (BEng).

JCB technical and professional development manager Miles Pixley explains that many people prefer the higher apprenticeship route because it enables them to earn money while they are learning, rather than taking out loans that they must then pay back later.

"The opportunity to undertake real paid work while learning on the job and studying one day a week at college to achieve a foundation degree is a fantastic proposition for a school leaver with good A-levels or a Level 3 apprenticeship. To then have the chance to go on to achieve a full Bachelor of Engineering degree is the icing on the cake," he adds.

The graduates include Adam Varley, 23, of Wetley Rocks, who works as a design engineer at JCB Heavy Products in Uttoxeter. "I like the freedom to earn as you learn and I am now looking forward to completing my full BEng degree at Sheffield Hallam University.  It was definitely the right route to take. The knowledge and training you receive from colleagues at JCB is invaluable. You learn quickly and thoroughly and that has definitely helped me over the past three years," he says.

During their apprenticeships, the group benefitted from on-the-job learning as JCB engineers. They also attended college once a week for classroom-based studies. As well as achieving Foundation Degree qualifications, they also received an EAL NVQ Level 4 Diploma in Mechanical Engineering.
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