Member Article

Engineering apprentice Hamish wins national award

A Northumberland College engineering apprentice’s hard work and dedication has been recognised by a leading manufacturing organisation.

Hamish Carroll, representing Tharsus Ltd., won the Apprentice Endeavour prize at the prestigious Make UK 2020 Awards which celebrate the brilliance of UK manufacturing and engineering.

The award, which received 200 nominations, is given to the apprentice who has engaged with their apprenticeship programme despite adverse circumstances, acknowledging their determination and progress on their individual journey.

It is not the first time the 21-year-old has been honoured at the Make UK Awards after being named national runner-up in the Apprentice of the Year: Rising Star category in 2019 and Apprentice of the Year: Final Year runner up in the 2020 regional awards.

“I’m incredibly proud to have won the Make UK Endeavour Award,” Hamish said. “It is an amazing achievement, and it would not have been possible without the support of Northumberland College, Tharsus and my family.”

Hamish, from Stockton-on-Tees, chose an apprenticeship after becoming disillusioned with his university course and the career path he was heading down. Seeking a way of gaining real-life practical experience whilst still studying, he began to look at other options and first found out about Blyth-based Tharsus – who design and manufacture strategic machines for companies such as BT – from his brother, who worked as a software engineer and was impressed by the company’s unique apprenticeship scheme.

He said: “Tharsus stood out to me because of the unique structure to the apprenticeship scheme, which would allow me to explore both mechanical and electrical engineering. Being competent in both fields is a great way to give my career an edge and allow me to stand out.

“During the early stages of the interview process as I got to further explore Tharsus, my passion for engineering really came back to me. The whole atmosphere around Tharsus really inspired me and once I had experienced that, I didn’t want to give it up.”

Despite a two-hour commute via public transport and 5am starts, Hamish excelled in his apprenticeship, where he enjoyed combining hands-on work with classroom learning at Northumberland College’s Ashington Campus.

“Through my apprenticeship, I have been able to gain the qualifications and skills that suit the company’s needs,” he said. “It has allowed me to learn the practical side of my job and then use this to understand and reinforce the theory behind it. I have the opportunity to learn from peers and seniors which has allowed me to take responsibility for my actions and became more independent in my role as I have progressed through my apprenticeship.”

“Studying at college helped me develop my understanding of electrical and electronic principles, this has given me new skills I can apply with my job role. The best part of college is the combination of theoretical learning, alongside practical demonstrations.”

Hamish works as a Technical Officer, assisting in leading on testing, training and fault diagnostics of products before they are shipped – a career he may not have achieved without for his apprenticeship.

Hamish said: “If someone is considering an apprenticeship, I would say ‘Go for it’. I feel that there is often a lot of pressure on young people to go to college and then university to get a good career, but this isn’t for everyone and it’s definitely not the only route into the world of work.

“Apprenticeships offer a varied approach to learning and can really make you stand out in the crowd. Working life is completely different from being in school, an apprenticeship is a way of entering that environment, whilst having people around to guide you along the way.”

Tharsus believe in providing a first-class training and development programme for all of their apprentice, offering comprehensive paid-for academic study and practical training in our electro-mechanical engineering or supply chain departments.

Each apprentice is well supported with a mentoring and development programme while receiving a competitive salary, with a guaranteed job at the end of their apprenticeship.

Gordon Ramsey, Head of Manufacturing at Tharsus, added: “Tharsus is a long term and passionate supporter of apprenticeships, and we believe they really benefit both the person taking them and the business offering them.

“We are delighted Hamish won the Endeavour Award and it shows how far he has developed in such a short space of time. We are very proud to have him at Tharsus and will support him with his continuing growth and development in his engineering career.”

Northumberland College, as part of Education Partnership North East, helps hundreds of employers across the region invest in the future by transforming their workforces through apprenticeships, offering advice and guidance from accessing Government incentives, to assisting with recruitment and providing ongoing support throughout the programme.

Kris Archer, Technical Engineering Assessor at Northumberland College, added: “Winning the Endeavour Award is a fantastic reward for Hamish’s hard work in difficult circumstances. After coming runner-up in last year’s awards Hamish has dusted himself off and come back stronger, showing how determined and enthusiastic he is within the workplace and in his studies. He has been an absolute pleasure to work with.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Northumberland College .

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