Skip to main content

Trainee Profile/Case Study


My Current Job History
I currently work for Sandvik Coromant’s Research and Development in solid round tools, as an apprentice development technician whilst studying for a foundation degree in mechanical engineering at Sheffield Hallam University.

My current responsibilities in this position include:

  • The operation of the ANCA tx7, seven axis CNC grinding machine for the manufacture of solid round cutting tool prototypes.
  • The maintenance and manipulation of engineering design data.
  • The testing of cutting tools using the Mori Seiki sv-50 three axis milling machine.
  • The geometrical inspection of solid round cutting tools.

I began my position under Sandvik on the 30th of June 2008 as an apprentice development technician for the Dormer Tools Ltd research and development department, where I was trained in geometrical inspection for solid round tooling, and the use of the Mori Seiki sv-50 for solid round cutting tool testing. I continued this role while completing a NVQ Level2, NVQ Level 3, and a BTEC National Certificate in Engineering at North Nottinghamshire College until June 2011.
By 2011 the Dormer Tools Ltd research and development department was integrated into Sandvik Coromant UK; at this point my position was also integrated, and by June 2011 I was trained in the use of the ANCA tx7 for prototype manufacture.

Why an Apprenticeship?
Upon the completion of my GCSE’s I followed the traditional route into A-Level study however, I found the subject areas and method of study to be undesirable, and as such I proceeded to look into alternate learning paths. I chose an apprenticeship not only because of the financial benefits but also the method of study was attractive I found that I could amass a great deal of practical, theoretical, and overall business experience while at the same time working towards a degree.

Why Engineering?
I had discovered relatively early in my academic life that I had a passion for learning how objects functioned. This interest has thereafter continued into my adult academic and working life.
I found engineering was an area that wasn’t particularly well discussed at schools and although the comprehensive school I attended offered a select few subjects directly related to engineering the area wasn’t explained well; however, it was personnel tutor and electronic lecturer, who offered me the greatest insight into engineering and piped my interest in the area.

Current Job History
Harrison joined Sandvik Coromant UK a Technician Apprentice and was part of a re-launch of Apprenticeship training for the Company. Coromant UK had taken the decision to re-enter Apprenticeship training in order to ensure the talent pipeline into the future. Harrison was recruited from the Birmingham based EEF Technology Centre, where he had completed his first year Performing Engineering Operations (PEO) course.
He started his Apprenticeship programme some months after the main group. Despite this he progressed at an amazing pace, developing and applying his engineering skills well; often completing sections ahead of those who had been on the programme much longer. His practical and academic work was completed to a high standard in double quick time and he continued to develop his skills in advanced training tasks. He continued to demonstrate growing skills and confidence in all he did.

Apprentice of the Year - First Year Award
The EEF instructional staff were unable to decide an overall winner due to the high calibre of apprentices in the Centre.  After much consideration however, they decided it was only fair to have a joint winner.  The joint winners of the first year apprentice winner of the year award went to Harrison and a second Coromant UK Apprentice - Nina Cataldo. Both Harrison and Nina are now undergoing intensive Advanced Engineering Apprentice training within specialist engineering departments in Coromant offices in Halesowen.
Words/phrases used to describe him include – Methodical, articulate, good problem solver, showed initiative, focussed, organised, only need to show him once, natural flair for practical tasks, has an “engineering mind”, keen to learn & develop skills, quiet and thoughtful.

Why an Apprenticeship?
I decided to follow the route of an apprenticeship for several reasons, the main one being that despite having ability for academic subjects I prefer a more hands on way of learning. That preference tended to rule out many Universities as the courses offered are mainly written coursework. With an apprenticeship I can learn in a way I find much more constructive, also earn while learning instead of gaining debt.

What are my future career aims and ambitions in the long and short-term?
In the short term I wish to complete my level 3 NVQ technician apprenticeship with Sandvik Coromant, during which I will find a department that I enjoy and understand, then move on to higher education such as HNC and eventually gain a full degree in my chosen career path. I hope to gain as higher qualification as I can to expand my knowledge and to have a full understanding of my chosen field of expertise.