Warrington based International Nuclear Services (INS) have hired their very first degree apprentice, Adam Lever.

The 18-year-old Wigan & Leigh College student came through the assessment phase at INS after impressing at his interview and was offered the apprenticeship.

Adam gained a Distinction* Distinction* Distinction* on his BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Mechanical Engineering course but decided he didn’t want to follow the traditional university path.

The student found out about Degree Apprenticeships after speaking to employers Sellafield Ltd at a careers fair held at the College’s Centre of Excellence in Engineering at its Pagefield Centre.

The aspiring engineer, who plans to successfully complete his degree apprenticeship and secure a full time job as a mechanical engineer with INS, will study towards a HNC this year before working onsite in Risley from next year.

The former Fred Longworth High School pupil enjoyed his Level 3 course at the College and said: “After attending the open event at Leigh College I decided I wanted to do engineering. I liked that I could specialise in the mechanical engineering.

“I loved the design aspects and using the CAD software – the facilities were really good and trips to companies such as Leyland Trucks showcased how industries use the software which helped me to see how I could utilise my learnt skills.”

The College has established strong employer partnerships within the engineering sector including Sellafield Ltd, MBDA Missile Systems and HUSCO International among many others.

With the government declaring 2018 as the year of engineering, there are more companies taking on apprentices to help bridge the shortfall in skilled engineers.

Degree apprenticeships are becoming a viable and alternative route into the industry.

They are co-designed by employers ensuring that apprentices are equipped with the skills employers need and boost their employment prospects. They combine university study and workplace learning to enable apprentices to gain a full degree whilst earning a salary and as a degree apprentice, do not pay for training costs.

Principal Design Engineer at INS, Ian Grainey said: “Adam repeatedly demonstrated his drive, his team-working skills and his commitment to engineering. Taking on an apprentice gives the student the opportunity to learn from experienced engineers, but it also brings a fresh new mind to the team.“I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank Wigan & Leigh College, and in particular their Head of Engineering, Phil Collier, in supporting INS and getting our first engineering apprentice in post.”
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