TDR Access Programme

by Amy Appleby

Due to the success of the Engineering Apprenticeship Access Programme (EAAP), TDR’s fifth cohort of enthusiastic learners commenced their journey to become apprentice engineers by enrolling on TDR Training’s 26 week programme in September 2019.

The ten students (pictured below, alongside their tutor, Gary) are based at TDR’s Headquarters, Quorum Business Park, Benton, and attend 37 hours per week, Monday – Thursday 0800 – 1600 and Friday 0800 – 1230. They are now 12 weeks into their programme and are progressing exceptionally well.

Student, Matthew Robinson, says ‘TDR Training is a place where a group of people that have experience in engineering teach you about engineering and they also teach you real life skills that are essential throughout life. You are treated like adults / apprentices which will help me when I actually start an apprenticeship’.

Their tutor, Gary, is delighted with the progress the students have all made saying ‘When they first came to join us at TDR, they didn’t know how to use any tools, they also didn’t have a lot of confidence and had no real idea about engineering. It is good to see both their skill level and confidence grow as they are progressing throughout the course’.

Student, Scott Reason, says ‘TDR encourages and maintains a friendly and welcoming working environment, which has built my confidence in both my practical work and building relationships with other students and tutors. I am really enjoying the experience of attending TDR and being part of the Engineering Apprenticeship Access Programme’.

Student, Callum Miller reinforces this by saying ‘The instructors are really helpful and offer encouragement when I have been struggling. They are really approachable and everybody is really friendly’.

During their time so far at TDR, the students have studied both Mechanical and Electrical based skills units and have created a TDR sign. The students worked well as part of a team and have learned many skills during this project. Other activities they have completed involved assembly, strip down, reassembly and fault finding that has taught them how to work independently and learn how to overcome issues that may arise, there were a few!

TDR Access Programme

Working together as a team and with guidance from their tutor Gary, they overcame these issues and are all really proud with the finished article, as are we! Student Reilly McKenzie, says ‘From starting the mechanical section of the course, I had little confidence in my practical skills and had barely any knowledge of mechanical engineering. I have now strengthened those skills and have become a lot more confident with practical tasks, thanks to both learning the theory and especially the hands on practical work on the rigs’.

Student, Kieran Norgrove, agrees by saying ‘TDR has helped me to understand different types of engineering. This has helped me to realise which discipline of engineering I would prefer to go into for an apprenticeship and my future career. TDR allow the students to see what it is like in a real working environment. I feel more prepared for when the time arrives for me to start an apprenticeship in engineering’.

The students have also completed the Electrical section of the qualification, where they have gained knowledge on different types of circuits including, direct online starting and control of electric motors. They were given guidance from Gary at the start which enabled them to follow schematic and wiring diagrams to complete a circuit.

Student, Ross Stephenson, says of TDR that, ‘They are a genuine team of people that go out of their way to help each individual progress to their maximum potential’ and student, Connor Iley concurs, by saying ‘TDR have allowed my confidence to improve by learning from a patient instructor who encourages me to learn’.

EAAP Students

The next stage of their journey with TDR, will take them to The Training & Development Centre based at Scotswood Road, where they will have exposure to other engineering disciplines, including Fabrication and Welder apprenticeship, Machining, and Mechanical Fitting & Assembly.

Student, Lennox Hunter states that ‘TDR has given me the skills and knowledge necessary to achieve a level 2 in engineering. I am really looking forward to hopefully starting an apprenticeship on completion of my EAAP course and feel ready to go into the real world of work, thanks to TDR’.

Concluding from Gary, ‘I am a proud tutor to see their work ethic and abilities improve exponentially. They have a further 14 weeks here with us at TDR, before they hopefully embark on their apprenticeship journey with an engineering organisation. I would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending all of our current EAAP students to be employed as apprentices’.

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