Kieran Bullivant

Kieran has loved the creativity of engineering since he was very young, but had been put off vocational training after a negative experience in a different apprenticeship programme. He credits his success as an MTC apprentice to the support of his employer and training team, which means not only that he is accelerating towards his final year, but is also excelling in his role and the wider engineering community.

We talked to Kieran about why his experience as an MTC apprentice has been so positive, and what he plans to do next.

Why did you choose an apprenticeship?

When I was leaving school, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I didn’t ever aspire to go to university, but I went to sixth form and got good grades, and so everyone else assumed that university was the natural next step. I didn’t enjoy the school environment and so I wanted to find my own path. An apprenticeship enabled me to continue learning, and also gave me the opportunity to gain experience and earn some money.

Did you have an idea of what an apprenticeship would involve before you came to the MTC?

Yes, although the MTC exceeded my expectations. I’d been an apprentice before I came to the MTC, but there had been nowhere near the level of support in place that the MTC offers its apprentices. This gave me the confidence to give an apprenticeship another shot, and I’m so glad I did.

What did you learn at the MTC?

So much. Honestly, I have learnt things I hadn’t even imagined when I first came to the MTC’s apprenticeship open evening. Through my experience so far, I’ve discovered that engineering is so much more than just one career path, and that there are new technologies that I didn’t know existed. If you had asked me about the advantages and processes involved with hot isostatic pressing a year or two ago, I wouldn’t even have known what you were talking about, but now I can answer the question – and with confidence!

How has the apprenticeship programme been beneficial to you and your career?

It has revolutionised my career path. Now I have places I want to go, and career goals I want to work towards. I have eyes on becoming a chartered engineer – I’d like to grow and climb the ladder at the MTC, as well as creating a network of contacts within and beyond our company. My apprenticeship programme at the MTC has given me skills that will benefit me for years to come and in ways that my previous apprenticeship experiences did not.

What would you say are the benefits and what advice would you offer to those looking to apply to the MTC apprenticeship programme?

My advice to everyone I meet at our open evenings or tours around the workshop is always the same: go for it. I know how confusing it is not knowing what you want to do with your life or career, or knowing you want to get into engineering but being put off by fear or anxiety getting in the way, but you have to push through it. And if you put that effort in, the support is there, and you will soar.

What are your main duties in your job?

One of the things that I enjoy most is how varied my duties are. There are the standard duties of weekly health and safety checks, helping out with project works, manufacturing parts, and so on, but I also have get involved with the strange and the wonderful, from sewing dressings to ultrasonic bathing. Being in a supportive position that helps to make things happen is where I really excel and what I really enjoy.

Would you recommend apprenticeships to others?

Absolutely, and I do all the time! Apprenticeships give you that hands-on experience that some university graduates don’t have, with all the freedom of not being in thousands of pounds of debt. As well as the added bonus of being able to learn from the ground up, and get that insider knowledge from those who know it best, your experience makes you such a versatile asset.