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Matt News CAL Web20-year-old Engineering Apprentice, Matthew, is blazing a trail at engineering company CAL International after securing an impressive higher apprenticeship as a Mechanical Engineering Apprentice.

Matthew’s apprenticeship journey began after successfully progressing from the level 2 Diploma in Engineering Technologies – Mechanical Engineering at St Helens College to the level 3 Diploma. It was at this point in his education that his tutor made him aware of an exciting apprenticeship opportunity with CAL.

With a desire to follow in the footsteps of his Grandad and Dad, both of whom were apprentices themselves, and knowing that he wanted to pursue a career in CAD design, Matthew applied for the level 3 apprenticeship vacancy and was delighted to secure an interview.

After impressing the team at CAL International at interview stage, Matthew was invited in for a two-day trial, which he thoroughly enjoyed, to assess his suitability for the role. Shortly after, he was offered the position as a Mechanical Engineering Apprentice.

Acquiring the role allowed Matthew to remain at St Helens College for one day per week, developing his knowledge and working towards gaining a level 3 qualification, with the remaining four days of the working week spent gaining experience in his new role at CAL International’s Knowsley head office.

Initially working on simple tutorials, to familiarise himself with industry standard Creo CAD software, Matthew quickly settled into his new role, progressing on to bigger projects, including creating designs on specialist software for customers, drafting drawings and producing and sending out prototypes for a range of clients. Supporting senior staff on larger projects has allowed Matthew to build up his experience and an impressive portfolio of work.

After two years in his role with CAL International, Matthew has since completed his level 3 qualification, and has progressed on to the HNC Mechanical Engineering, fully funded by his employer, at University Centre St Helens.

Matthew said: “I am really enjoying my HNC. The technical side of the qualification has really helped me in my current role. I have a deeper understanding of the key principles of physics and how they work in theory and have been able to implement these theories back in the office to see how they work in practice during the prototype stages of design.”

One particular memory that has really stood out for Matthew during his apprenticeship is being involved in building an electrical go-kart for a community project, which culminated with the opportunity to test the prototype at the local Three Sisters Circuit in Ashton.

Commenting on his apprenticeship, Matthew added: “My current role and the HNC course complement each other well. The industry experience provided on my apprenticeship has allowed me to advance my CAD skills to a much higher level than I would have, had I just been learning in a classroom environment because of how fast paced the industry is.

Working at CAL International has provided me with some amazing opportunities and invaluable work experience as I am not just learning from a text book about a subject, I am actually making the product and implementing it.”

Upon completion of his HNC, Matthew hopes to progress on to the HND Mechanical Engineering at University Centre St Helens and strongly believes that his apprenticeship has enabled him to “confidently progress in a highly exciting and fast-paced industry.”