Ambitious engineer Joe wins Apprentice of the Year Award

22 September 2015
Image representing Ambitious engineer Joe wins Apprentice of the Year Award
Joe's father pictured with GC Vice Principal, Peter White, after collecting the award on Joe's behalf.

Gloucestershire College is celebrating after its Advanced Mechanical Engineering Apprentice, Joe Langley, took home the title of Apprentice of the Year in the inaugural Engineering, Manufacturing and Innovation (EMI) Awards.

Ambitious Joe, who has recently been promoted to Product Development Engineer at the Corin Group, completed his apprenticeship in two, rather than the usual three, years so that he could return to university and study for his Mechanical Engineering degree part-time at the University of the West of England in September 2015.

Joe briefly attended university in 2012 to study Psychology but realised it wasn’t right for him, so decided to undertake an engineering apprenticeship with Gloucestershire College as he had always had an interest in cars, planes, machines and "anything that can be reduced down to working parts with logical explanations."

He explains: "In all honesty, I didn’t realise that I wanted to become an engineer until after I had started my apprenticeship. At the time I applied for an engineering apprenticeship it was a smart bet – learning and earning looked like a good combination.

"What really sparked my passion for engineering was understanding the basic manufacturing processes that apply to so many products – and having the skills to perform these processes. Once I understood how parts are made, I started to understand how you can design parts and products, and how the manufacturing processes impact on the final product. I still love looking at parts or household items and working out how they’ve been made!"

Image representing Ambitious engineer Joe wins Apprentice of the Year Award
Joe at the Corin Group, Cirencester

During his apprenticeship, not only did Joe achieve a double distinction in his BTEC Diploma in Mechanical Engineering with 100% pass rate, and NVQ Extended Diploma in Mechanical Manufacturing, but he also won a bronze medal in the Mechanical Engineering: CAD category of the 2014 WorldSkills UK competition.

At the Cirencester-based Corin Group, Joe has been working in Research and Development; using design briefs to take implants and surgical instruments for total knee replacements through specification, concepts, development, manufacture, verification, validation and evaluation. This year he was also involved in a major project to roll out new CAD/CAM software across the company, as well as sitting on the work group committee.

Joe said: "I’m honoured to have been awarded Apprentice of the Year. I don’t work as hard as I do for recognition, I do it because I love engineering and my job. Having said that, I feel proud that two years of very hard work have been recognised; not just by my colleagues but now also by a wider audience. The award is a symbol of how I have achieved everything I set out to do in my apprenticeship, and more – that’s what makes me feel proud."

Corin’s Facilities Project Manager, Mike Harding, added: "It was at an assessment centre for potential apprentices here at Corin when it was recognised that Joe was an intellectual talent we shouldn’t ignore, and we were right that we didn’t.

"Joe has shown a tremendous appetite for learning, he continuously pushes his boundaries and is challenging himself and his managers daily to deliver business critical design projects within aggressive timeframes.

"A joy to work with, Joe has a bright future with Engineering Design & Manufacturing and all of us at Corin are very proud of his achievements – and know there are a lot more successes to come."

A leading provider of engineering training in the county, Gloucestershire College has not only invested significantly in its facilities and workshops at Gloucester Campus, but also launched a new series of higher engineering apprenticeships, as well as a BEng (Hons) Degree in Electronic and Computer Engineering with the University of the West of England.

For more information about engineering at Gloucestershire College watch #GCthemovie at www.gloscol.ac.uk/engineering or call Student Services on 0345 155 2020.

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