31 OCT 2016

Thomas Brading, 22, Defence Munitions Gosport Apprentice

Thomas Brading


Defence Munitions Gosport Apprentice

Before gaining an apprenticeship with Defence Munitions Gosport, I studied at St Vincent College with a view to doing engineering at university. However after some thought and listening to the opinions of others and the current demand for both the government and that of the industry I realised that an apprenticeship would best facilitate my goals and ambitions.

While studying at college we will gain more than just academic ability, but also the hand skills and experience to be a transferrable asset, to not only better ourselves, but to support the armed forces and later on, the industry as a whole.

Now in Phase 2 of the apprenticeship we have started our sections, while still attending college one day a week and gaining a welding qualification through a night course at CEMAST College. Myself and Joseph Salmon (previously mentioned in this blog) have been working together with local volunteers at the Explosion! Museum and Steam Pinnace 199 crew, helping to restore and preserve the history within Gosport and the surrounding area. Further four month long placements include in-house sections that will vary in difficulty and broaden our knowledge and understanding of not only naval weaponry, but engineering as a whole.

What I enjoy most about this apprenticeship is the amount of opportunities that are available such as the Tom Nevard Memorial and the Henry Royce competitions, as well as inter-phase competitions, that test individual and team based skills. Alongside these competitions we also gain MOD Deeds that certify our skills and industry standards.

Why an apprenticeship? As I mentioned before I had considered going to university, but when comparing the two, especially concerning engineering, an apprenticeship better prepares you for work within the industry, as you gain hands-on experience alongside all the academic benefits, with the opportunity to gain a HNC level qualification. All of this being paid for and earning a decent wage at the same time is just unsurpassable by the university equivalent

I would recommend an apprenticeship to anyone, as it fully prepares you for a career in engineering and is for the majority of the time more sought after. There is also a lot more certainty of the outcome, as you are pretty much guaranteed a job at the end of your time with the company. I thoroughly feel the aiming for and achieving an apprenticeship is the best decision I made.

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