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Rhys Foster enhances his engineering career with a degree apprenticeship

Whilst working at the Science and Technology Facilities Council, engineering apprentice Rhys had the desire to expand his technical knowledge and personal capabilities.

On the back of a recommendation from his senior management team, Rhys decided to enhance his existing engineering-based career by studying on the BEng Mechanical Engineering Degree Apprenticeship course at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) by taking up an apprenticeship in engineering. He felt that the course's blended academic and practical structure aligned with his career progression goals, alongside the benefit of having zero student debt upon completion.

Rhys explains that he typically spends one day studying on UCLan's Preston Campus, working on his continuous assessment element to build a portfolio of competency evidence to show that he could satisfy the course assessment criteria. He then spends the remaining four days of his week gaining experience on the placement element of his course making it a great combination of work and study.

On his latest project, Rhys has designed and built a vacuum test apparatus that he will use for design studies and experimentation within his workplace. This project has vastly expanded his knowledge in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software, which he uses to evaluate gas propagation when injected into the vacuum chamber.

Rhys has sometimes found the technical aspects of his project work a challenge, but at the same time rewarding as he can see his technical knowledge and capabilities enhancing.

"I enjoy the challenging technical aspects of studying at UCLan and the clear personal progression in many areas of my work and knowledge which extend beyond the direct contents of studied modules."

Rhys Foster, Mechanical Engineering Degree Apprenticeship, BEng
Rhys Foster, Mechanical Engineering Degree Apprenticeship, BEng
Rhys Foster, Mechanical Engineering Degree Apprenticeship, BEng

Forward-looking, Rhys plans to continue working at Science and Technology Facilities Council, allowing the company to benefit from his newly learnt skills and knowledge. He feels that the degree apprenticeship programme has put him in a much better position when further opportunities arise within his industry.

When we asked Rhys about what advice he would give to prospective students considering the degree apprenticeship route, he said

"An apprenticeship is a great way to gain both qualifications and work experience and progress in an otherwise difficult recruitment environment."

Rhys Foster, Mechanical Engineering Degree Apprenticeship, BEng