Electronical and Mechanical Engineer pprentice Lewis at work at EMP Designs

Electronic & Mechanical Engineering Apprenticeships at EMP Designs

As national apprenticeship week dawns, EMP Designs will be attending local careers fairs and college events in Farnborough.  

We really value having and developing young talent at EMP Designs. We are a small creative business, that has grown by having an inventive, hardworking approach to solving our clients’ problems. We need passionate people, keen to learn and embrace being part of a professional team. We’ve found the mix of highly experienced engineers, and young talent to be very positive for both sides. 

Our apprentices often undertake some work experience initially, so both sides can see it is a good fit. Permanent work can then be agreed around their studies, offering students the chance to be practically involved in a wide range of commercial projects. 

Lewis has been with us since June 2021 as an electronic and mechanical engineering apprentice and is very much part of the team. We asked him some questions about his experience that we thought might be of interest to other students considering this path.  

What’s it like to be an apprentice? 

Lewis, you achieved excellent results in level 3 BTEC. Why did you decide to apply for apprenticeship rather than degree course? 

An apprenticeship offered a more hands-on approach to learning, rather than just studying. It’s a chance to get practical work experience at the same time as my qualifications. 

Why did you choose the apprenticeship at EMP Designs? 

It seemed the most exciting and ticked the most boxes for me. I felt it would provide more hands-on electronic experience rather than focussing purely on mechanical, and I liked the idea of having a mixture of the two. 

What are you currently studying, and how does this fit in? 

I’m studying towards a Level 4 HNC as an Engineering Manufacturing Technician – a 2-year course at Farnborough College of Technology. The course works on day release, so all the studying is done on one day at college and I work at EMP the other 4 days.  At the end of 2 years I plan to move onto the degree course which is a three year course: Embedded Electronic Systems Design and Development Engineer. 

What particular modules are of interest? 

I’m really enjoying digital principles where we learn the logic behind electronics. At the moment we are studying JK flip flops and other sorts of timing chips along with a range of different components. There’s a mix of theory and some practical assignments. 

For my first assignment, we have been tasked to create a product to help recycling in the domestic market, so think of any household waste and come up with solution to how can be recycled. My project is about re-using cooking oil – filtering for use again.  The project is going well so far and is due to be submitted in February. 

What skills have you learned at EMP Designs? 

I’ve learned a lot of hand-based skills that I wouldn’t have learned anywhere else – things such as soldering. I had experience of this already, but at EMP I’ve had a chance to put my initial knowledge into proper practice and I’m quite fluent with it now. I’ve also had experience on many of the other tools, such as cable cutting machine, ultra-sonic welding machines and oscilloscopes. 

I’ve also designed and made a few brackets for jigs on the 3D printer using 3D software which has made manufacture of one our products more efficient – the team here have shown me how to use CAD software. This has been really exciting, because now I can design pretty much anything on my own and create it on the 3D printer. It’s been a lot of fun to learn. 

Do you feel that your work and studies complement each other?  

Yes, absolutely. Lots of stuff I learn at college is very relevant to the things I’m doing here at EMP, especially the digital principles studies. We had to use oscilloscopes at college and it was great that I was already familiar with them. I felt really confident using them so it really supported what we were doing in the lesson. 

Did you ace it?

I like to think so! I see and experience many tools and projects at EMP every day, so the machinery and tools become part of the daily process. I’m using the technology I’m learning about! I’m looking forward to incorporating this knowledge into my projects. 

What do you enjoy most about the work at EMP? 

Being able to actually create things. Using the CAD software. I can create things completely independently and then have it printed. It’s an exciting ability to have.  

Did you have any previous work experience in the industry?  

No, not in this industry. Although I had worked in a garden centre. 

Where do you see yourself in 10 years times? 

I’d love to still be at EMP, but more incorporated in the design aspect.

If you are local to the Farnborough and Camberley area and you’d like to apply for an engineering apprenticeship at EMP Designs please send your CV to careers@empdesigns.co.uk 

You need to have a positive outlook and a passion to learn and develop new skills; attention to detail is essential.  Our next apprentice needs to have a desire to study and learn electronic and mechanical design and assembly as well as computer software programming.

Click here to see our  job vacancies, or for more information about the team at EMP Designs.