The principles of thermal engineering can be learned from books at college, but you will never become a great thermal engineer through theoretical learning alone. Like any engineering profession, we are a hands on trade, with practical experience being as valuable, if not more so, as the theory side. This is why at Therser we have always been 110% committed to apprenticeships. Why? Because they create great engineers who are proud of their work, have a wealth of practical experience and the flexibility to apply both theoretical and practical knowledge to a wide range of problems in a changing industry.
In our own company, as well as many other similar businesses across the country, young men (and increasingly women too) have started as lowly apprentices at age 16 to 18 and risen through the ranks to become highly experienced and successful engineers. We want to encourage this. In fact, this is the route that our own MD Neil took. He started off as an apprentice at Drayton Kilns, Therser.
Our Apprenticeship Scheme
At the moment we have four apprentices at Therser who split their time between learning engineering skills at college and applying this knowledge at our factory under the supervision of experienced engineers. Their college course will give each apprentice a solid grounding in the basic skills they need to be an engineer, including pipe fitting, welding and so on. These are skills they can take anywhere with them throughout their career. The great thing about apprenticeships is that they give young people the opportunity to develop specialist skills, as well as learn from people with more experience.
Addressing The Skills Shortage
In thermal engineering in particular, there are a whole range of specialist skills and knowledge which have become progressively lost over the years. Much of it was never written down, so when older engineers retired or older firms closed down, this knowledge was simply lost.
Our sector has been hit by the skill shortage over the past few years but we are certainly not alone. Most highly skilled sectors in the UK are feeling the pinch for highly qualified members of staff. The new approach to apprenticeships is starting to fill the gap, and it is a pleasure to see the next generation of thermal engineers develop in enthusiasm and confidence with each passing month.
Rewarding Careers In An Exciting Engineering Sector
Thermal engineering is an interesting sector to be part of. There are a great number of interesting and well paid opportunities to explore over the course of a career – and we encourage any young person looking for a practical profession to give it some serious thought. To find out more about engineering apprenticeships, drop us a quick email through our website, and someone will get in touch with you soon.