HETA experience paves the way into jobs for young apprentices

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Young engineers are weighing up careers from underwater welding to pipeline work in Alaska after finishing the first part of their training and securing apprenticeships with local companies.
Instructor Arron Kearney (centre) with apprentices (from left) Chris Lakeman, Louis Rex, Laurie Taylor, Ellis Choi and Corey Dimbleby

Young engineers are weighing up careers from underwater welding to pipeline work in Alaska after finishing the first part of their training and securing apprenticeships with local companies.

The group have just moved on from a 10-week intensive course at Humberside Engineering Training Association (HETA) as the first to progress from the summer intake of school leavers, and are already setting their sights on options after they complete their three-year apprenticeships with employers.

The welders will be followed into industry this month by another group who are putting the finishing touches to their intensive course at HETA’s centre at Stallingborough. The remaining apprentices at Hull, Stallingborough and Scunthorpe will advance next summer.

Arron Kearney, fabrication and welding instructor at HETA in Hull, said:

This first group have all done really well and were all signed up by employers very quickly. The majority of our learners who will leave during this academic year have already secured Apprenticeships and we are working hard to find employers for the remaining Traineeships. We have an exceptional track record of getting our learners into sustainable employment.

Laurie Taylor, who has joined CRK Engineering in Hull, said:

There is a worldwide shortage of engineers and if you have got the right qualifications you can travel anywhere. That’s why I came to HETA.

Fellow apprentice Ellis Choi, a colleague at CRK Engineering, arrived at HETA as a late entrant. Ellis served as a technician in the RAF before leaving through injury.

Corey Dimbleby and Chris Lakeman, who have both joined G & S Engineering in Hull, both went to HETA straight from school, as did Louis Rex, who has joined Brough-based Rexrob engineering and aims to help his dad build the family business.

They began work at HETA in September having heard about engineering opportunities through a combination of the company’s school visits, family input and recommendation from friends.

Their course will take them to a NVQ Level 3 and will present opportunities to specialise in the disciplines which they have targeted, and much more.

Each of them highlighted the practical nature of the course, the global recognition of the qualification, the high ratio of staff to apprentices and the mutual respect throughout the workshop as factors which set HETA apart from other training bodies.

Ellis said:

It’s a long course but it prepares you for the real world and it sets you up to progress and gain even better qualifications, and you are earning while you are training.

Arron said the intensive course has been specifically designed to provide more opportunities for young people to embark on engineering careers. Apprentices train full time at HETA for 10 weeks and spend the rest of their three years attending on day release from their employers.

Arron said:

Apprentices used to spend a year here before moving on but we developed the 10-week intensive course after consulting with companies. Employers want the apprentices to come here, get the basics and then learn the company’s own style of engineering.

“HETA was set up 50 years ago by employers to meet the needs of their companies, and that is still at the heart of everything we do.”