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#NAW2022 Apprenticeship Case Study: Geoff Goring, Engineering Apprentice Alumni at Dowty Group Services

 

In celebration of the National Apprenticeship Week 2022, we asked our current apprentices as well as alumni to get in touch and share their stories. You can imagine our delight to hear from Geoff Goring, who was an Engineering apprentice with GC more than 30 years ago, from 1985 until 1988.

Geoff, who worked for such established companies as Renishaw, GE Aviation, and Kohler Mira is now a business owner of Goring Engineering Consultancy Ltd and a passionate advocate for apprenticeships. He strongly believes they offer a fantastic opportunity to kick-start one’s career, as it once kick-started his.

Here's his story. 

Geoff, how did you get into engineering?

Whilst at Cleeve School, a career’s group attended a fair at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham and I, aged 14 then, was immediately drawn into engineering, fascinated by science and technology and all the opportunities.

I studied hard and gained an old ‘O’ Level in Engineering Workshop Theory and Practice and Maths, English, Art, Physics and Humanities.

What made you choose to do an apprenticeship?

I wanted to experience many departments and areas of an engineering business and to be able to combine studying with a paid working experience that would give me a firm springboard for the future.

How did you find your employer?

I was studying full time at GC towards my Engineering Diploma. Dowty Group Services had a good relationship with Gloucestershire College (known as GLOSCAT then), and they would give a presentation towards the end of each full-time National Diploma programme about the benefits of the Higher National Diploma-based apprenticeships. I was interested in the apprenticeship-based qualification and decided to apply for a position of a Technician Engineering apprentice with them. After two rounds of interviews, I joined the company in August 1985.

Can you tell us a bit about your day-to-day job role as an apprentice, and how did you fit studying around your work commitments?

The apprenticeship had a “sandwich” course approach where time was spent per semester or term in college and then the next term would be industry-based – in various placements around the Dowty Group. I would do most of my coursework in my own time. The training department at Dowty Group held regular one-to-one meetings with apprentices for feedback and to offer any help, including help with assignments. In addition, group meetings were held every term to address any questions.

What was the best thing about your apprenticeship?

Learning and experiencing all aspects to make an informed decision about a future job role and making new friends. I also enjoyed being paid to gain a highly valued education and having a firm springboard for future career.

I have a wonderful memory of the HND graduation ceremony which took place at a beautiful Gloucester Cathedral. It was a historical day for myself and my dear fellow apprentices.   

Did your apprenticeship help fulfil your professional ambitions and in what way?

Yes! The apprenticeship certainly helped me progress personally, technically and it developed my managerial skills. I now have my own engineering business Goring Engineering Consultancy Ltd. If I was again 14 years old, I would make exactly the same decisions.

Would you recommend doing an apprenticeship in your industry? And why?

Absolutely! Engineers are the backbone of everything that works. Engineering apprenticeships are a perfect combination of working experience, learning, being mentored, add-on classes and training – all of which will give you a rock-solid foundation for future professional success. Also, nowadays Engineering offers so many more exciting choices: software, bio-chemistry, nuclear and of course electric vehicle development.

What advice could you give to people considering apprenticeship in your industry?

Research the companies. Look at work placements. Don’t be shy to ask questions.

  • Be logical
  • Be interested
  • Be quizzical
  • Be curious
  • Be organized.

It is all about how you present yourself to a potential employer. Soft skills, like communication, attention to detail and teamwork are important. Good foundation in Maths and Physics will be of an advantage too.

Come to interviews with a potential employer prepared to talk about your hobbies and passion and don’t be afraid to share relevant stories and anecdotes from your personal experience, be it opening your PS5 or an Xbox to see what’s inside or taking your bike apart to grease moving parts.

 

To find out more about Engineering and other apprenticeships with Gloucestershire College, visit https://www.gloscol.ac.uk/apprenticeships/apprentice-career-paths/

 

 

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