Meet Jason Dripps, a previous apprentice at Moyola Precision Engineering.

What made you want to pursue a career in the sector and an apprenticeship?

I have always been someone who enjoys working with their hands. At school my main passion was for the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) subjects so becoming an engineer was always a career path that interested me.

What is your day-to-day role like?

Currently I’m working within the CADCAM team within Moyola. I have learned a lot since starting within the company and no two days are ever the same. Most of my time is spent designing fixturing and programming processes for the manufacture of aerospace components. Some days I will be planning the job such as making setup sheets for the engineers and operators on the shopfloor, and on occasion I will be on the shopfloor proving out a new process.

Have you worked on any interesting projects / programs during your apprenticeship?

I was very fortunate that during my apprenticeship I have had many opportunities to learn new things. When I started, I was on both 3 axis and 5 axis CNC machines that have a wide variety of parts and projects manufactured on them. This has helped me to see a lot of different setups and ways of working which is helping me now within my new role.

What has been the best thing about your apprenticeship, has anything surprised you?

There have been a lot of good things about my time in Moyola but probably the best thing is what you learn. In my opinion there are somethings you can’t learn from books and an apprenticeship gives you the hands-on experience you would never and could never get from a textbook. Another thing is how friendly and helpful everyone is. I left school just after my GCSE’s; this was my first job, and I didn’t really know what to expect but everyone has been very welcoming and make themselves available if you need a helping hand. You’ll find that most were once in your shoes, so they know how you feel.

Probably the thing that surprised me the most is the type of product that is manufactured right here in Castledawson. If you know where Castledawson is and how small it is, then it might surprise you too!

Would you recommend an apprenticeship?

The short answer is yes! Personally speaking, it’s the best way to kick start your career especially if you know the career path in which you’d like to go. You are learning the specific skills you need to succeed; in the job you want, and you’re being paid! What could be better than that?

What advice would you give to someone considering an apprenticeship?

If you are considering an apprenticeship my advice would be firstly, do some research beforehand. It’s important that you know what you’re getting yourself into. An apprenticeship will last for a few years so make sure it’s in a career that you can see yourself doing.

Secondly, ask questions if you can. If you get an interview, ask what the day to day is like and what your role within the company may be. This will help you get a grasp of whether this is a career you can see yourself in or not.

Thirdly and finally, there are many different types of apprenticeships for many different jobs within many different sectors so find one that’s right for you and go for it!