Get Engineering 2019 took place in Dungannon last weekend, and Way out West spoke to people from all avenues of the engineering industry to find out exactly what you need to know about the Engineering sector in 2019?
‘I study Gold Engineering. I always liked Engineering at school, and liked doing bits and pieces at home, so I really thought it would be the perfect course for me. I’m really enjoying it. The other benefit for us today is seeing what sort of companies are out there and getting a glimpse of some of the opportunities we’ll hopefully be able to become a part of in the years to come. It’s a great glimpse into the industry, so that when we leave the education side of things we know what we’re getting involved in.’ - Brendan, SWC Engineering Student and Get Engineering Student Volunteer
The Engineering Fair today is about showing prospective students what they could learn here at South West College, and even examples of what physical things they can make and create with those skills. When I first came here I hadn’t been to an open day or anything, so I wasn’t one-hundred-percent sure on what I was coming into, so I can certainly see the benefits of telling people what’s on offer. I know how much I’ve enjoyed being here, so it’s great to be able to recommend it to people. I definitely want a career in engineering, although I’m not sure what aspect yet. There are a lot of great companies out there, and today is a great way to see them.’ James, SWC Engineering student and Get Engineering Student Volunteer
“If you look at the engineering sector alone the opportunities for young people to own their own business, become a senior manager, a salesperson, or a service engineer, the facilities here provide the necessary training. It’s a fantastic setup.” - Former SWC student and current industry employer
"I left school after completing my GCSE's and went on to get an NVQ Level 2, but wanted to return to something that was a bit more academically changeling, so i started the GOLD programme a few years ago, and now i'm in the middle of a foundation degree. It's been a different sort of academic journey to get to degree level, but it's been the right one for me." - Caolon O'Neill
“In terms of different career opportunities there is a lot of diversity. From an apprenticeship view point we have blue collar workers, we have guys working in assembly. We have got people also working in the office side of things for example in sourcing. So there’s many different paths that are available and I think it’s as much down to what the student themselves wants to pursue.” - Eamonn Whelan, Sandvik
“I study gold apprenticeship engineering at South West College and I am working at Spectrum engineering. My job consists of working with different machines, saws, lathes. Working with supervisors as well, moving things around the room, organising things, keeping the place tidy. Bringing drawings and diagrams to the workers for them to be able to carry out their job.
I work in the departure ares as well, collecting and sending drums out. Whenever it came to choosing my options I looked around at the different courses I could do, and I knew I was very practical so I went to the engineering fair at South West College and see the advertisement.” - Ben Hazelton
“There’s upwards of 250 engineering companies in Tyrone and they all have substantial growth plans. An apprenticeship is a direct route to employment. A lot of students in this area graduate with degrees from various universities but are unemployed because they don’t have the skills that are required for local employers.” - Darragh Cullen, Managing Director, EDGE
“I think it’s important for students to consider the apprenticeship option. They get to earn as they learn, as well as getting the really necessary experience. There are so many options for students, so they can choose the right one for their learning style." - McClsokey International Engineering
“I chose the route of engineering because I was always a hands on person and I liked practical work. As a student, the main benefit of the apprenticeship has been the balance of work. You get to do two days of theory in the college, then three days of practical work, so you’re getting the best of both worlds.” - Jordan McCann, Student
“After my GCSE’s I enrolled at South West College on a Gold Engineering Apprenticeship and I’ve been lucky enough to an apprentice engineer with TEREX. The main benefits to this type of learning has been the hands on experience of working in an engineering environment. Sometimes people who go to University are fully qualified before they even know what it’s like to work in the industry.” - Nathan McCord, student