Drive forward your skills on engineering work experience

Want to gain work experience in the engineering sector? Here’s our top tips for success.

Engineering work experience is an excellent opportunity for students to gain hands-on experience in their chosen field and develop practical skills that are essential for future careers.

In recent years, the demand for engineering jobs in the UK has been steadily increasing. According to Engineering UK, there is a yearly demand for around 124,000 engineers and technicians in the UK.

Many of our Engineering diploma students at Capital City College Group go on to university to specialise in civil, mechanical, electrical, technological and chemical engineering.

During their studies they have the opportunity to undertake work placements with industry employers including Siemens, McLaren, Ardmore, Morgan Sindall and SCS Railways.

If you are considering a career in engineering, here are our top tips on how to gain work experience and make the most of your time on placement.

  • Research the Industry

Before applying for any work experience placement, it’s essential to research the industry to understand the types of engineering roles and the skills required. This research will help you to determine the area of engineering that best fits your interests and career aspirations. Look for information on the latest trends, challenges and job opportunities within the sector.

  • Network with Professionals

Networking with professionals in the industry is an excellent way to gain insights and learn about the various job roles and opportunities within the field. Attend industry events, conferences and join online communities to connect with professionals. Make sure to have a clear idea of what you want to achieve from these interactions and prepare relevant questions beforehand.

  1. Apply Early

Engineering work experience placements can be competitive with limited places. To increase your chances of securing a placement, apply early. Research and identify companies that interest you, and then apply well in advance to increase your chances of success. Many companies have a fixed application period, so make sure to check their websites for specific dates.

  • Be Flexible

When applying for engineering work experience, be open to different roles and companies. It’s essential to gain experience in different areas to understand which career path suits you best. Also, many companies offer placements in different locations, which could offer different experiences and opportunities. Be flexible and open-minded to make the most of your work experience.

  • Prepare for the Placement

Before starting your work experience placement, take the time to prepare. Research the company, their values, culture and the work they do. Look for information on the projects you will be working on and try to understand how they fit into the broader context of the company. Also, make sure you are aware of any safety protocols and procedures you need to follow.

  • Show Initiative

During your work experience placement, it’s essential to show initiative and take on responsibility where possible. Demonstrate your interest in the work, ask questions and seek feedback. This proactive approach will show your commitment to the placement and the industry and could lead to further opportunities in the future.

  • Build Relationships

Building positive relationships with colleagues and supervisors during your work experience placement is crucial. These relationships could lead to valuable industry connections, future work opportunities and references. Make sure to take the time to get to know your colleagues, attend social events and show a positive attitude.

Apply now for CCCG courses and apprenticeships in Engineering here and Rail Engineering here.

Engineering students thrive on extended work placements with top employers

Engineering students at Westminster Kingsway College are boosting their skills after being given the opportunity to gain extra work experience with major employers across London.

Eighteen students from the college are working one day a week for Ardmore, Willmott Dixon, McLaren, Morgan Sindall, SCS Railways, Lendlease and two Hilton hotels.

The placements are an addition to the two-week placements they completed in January, which is a mandatory part of their Engineering Level 3 Diploma course.

Faaiz Banday, 18, who is studying for an Engineering Level 3 Diploma, is undertaking a placement at Ardmore’s Cambridge House development in Mayfair.

The historic listed building is being restored and converted into a luxury 102-room hotel with a spa, gym and nightclub and seven residential properties.

Faaiz said: “I’ve always been interested in engineering and how things are built. I used to enjoy woodwork at secondary school and always been a practical, hands on type of person.

“I’ve been looking at architect’s drawings showing different sections and elevations of the building and learning how to read them. I’ve also been shown how to use different CAD tools and visited parts of the site to see how it all applies to the way it is being constructed.

“Work placements are a great way to find out what you’re interested in and learn from people in the industry by asking questions about their experiences. It makes you feel motivated to follow in their footsteps when it comes to your own career.

“It’s been incredible to have the chance to do an extra day’s work placement each week and further build my skills and confidence. If I had stayed at school in sixth form, I would never have got a chance like this. It’s helping prepare me for a real job.”

Construction is just one of many industries that require engineering skills. Others include transport, chemical, mechanical, electrical, manufacturing, energy, telecoms, technology and utilities.

Nic Finden, Project Director at Ardmore said: “I have worked for Ardmore for more than 20 years and the industry needs succession. Over the years there has been a shortfall in skilled labour, which is why it is important to encourage young people to come into the industry.

“Ardmore has always been a forward-thinking company that takes a lot of pride in the industry, promoting skills and knowing the value of homegrown labour. As long as they are respectful and self-motivated, we will open up doors for students to choose the career path that is right for them.”

The opportunity for students to undertake extra work experience is part of a trial by WestKing ahead of the college running its first engineering T Levels in September 2024.

T Levels are new technical qualifications that are the equivalent of three A Levels designed with employers and require students to complete 45 days on an industry placement.

WestKing currently offers Engineering courses from Levels 1-3 including foundation courses in Civil Engineering and Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering with City University of London.

Find out more about Engineering courses and apprenticeships across Capital City College Group, which includes WestKing, and apply here.

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