Foundation Apprentices Summer Placements -Josh, Jamie, Kieran and James' story

July 31, 2019 - Katie Ralston

It’s that time of year again, when the Engineering Foundation Apprentices have finished year 1 of their course, and start their summer placement.

The placement involves two weeks working at a local engineering company, where they get the opportunity to experience the different types of jobs and routes available in their chosen industry.

We caught up with some more of the FA’s who selected GE Caledonian for their summer placement.


Josh Murchie

Marr College

I chose to study the Foundation Apprenticeship because it will give me a better chance to get an apprenticeship after school. I had actually spoken to Stephen and Gordon from GE Caledonian before I applied for the course, and they said that if I wanted to do an apprenticeship at GE, I should study the FA as it will give me a better chance to get in. I had completed my weeks work experience in GE when I was in 4th year, so I am keen to work there.

The first year of the course wasn’t too challenging. I liked the whole year to be honest. Some people only enjoyed the practical, but I enjoyed both the practical and the theory. The lecturers were great as well. I wouldn’t say that the hand skills you learn on the course are exactly the same as the skills needed to work in the company, but its good practice to have used the tools, and getting a feel for measuring.

The two week placement has been great. Everyone I have worked with has been really accepting, and they are willing to explain the tasks and help me. It’s not a stand around and watch type of placement, they let you do the tasks they are talking about. This week I have been in the HPC build which has been great.

My main goal is to get an apprenticeship with GE Caledonian, it has a huge variety of facilities so there is opportunity for me to learn a lot.

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Josh Murchie

Jamie Thompson

Grange Academy

I chose the Foundation Apprenticeship to try and get ahead in my career goals. My dad showed me around GE Caledonian when I was younger, and from then on, I knew it was where I wanted to work.

The course is a lot different from a school subject, there is a lot more freedom at College and a different learning environment. You are treated like an adult at College which is good.

I enjoyed learning the hand skills in the class and completing the practical work. I am definitely a more practical learner so that benefits me. I don’t enjoy just sitting in a classroom.

My first week on placement has been brilliant, I love it here. I have been stripping LPTs and building engine cores. It’s completely different stuff from what my classmates are doing in their summer holidays. There aren’t many sixteen your olds that can say “I worked on aeroplane engines this summer”.

I am looking forward to applying for an apprenticeship at GE Caledonian.


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Jamie Thompson

Kieran Allan

Greenwood Academy

I chose the Foundation Apprenticeship because it’s a lot different to a normal school subject, I like practical work and things that are more hands on. The first year was good. I liked being able to do practical work instead of theory all the time. I enjoyed getting to work with circuits and using all the tools.

Working at GE Caledonian has been great. Everyone here has been brilliant, they demonstrate everything, and make sure I am doing things correctly. They are happy to help as well, which is great. I have been working on aeroplane engines, stripping them down and building them up. The time passes so quickly here.

I am enjoying the mix of school and College, I look forward to the days I have the Foundation Apprenticeship in my timetable. In the future I want to work in mechanical or electrical engineering. I would like to apply for a Modern Apprenticeship in GE Caledonian.

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Kieran Allan

James Laird

Largs Academy

I choose the course because my sister completed the Foundation Apprenticeship this year, and she told me all about it. I am interested in the mechanical side of engineering, and she said it would be a perfect fit for me.

The first year of the course was great, very hands on. I got to make up circuits and do a bit of soldering. We made a small car that we had to get started, which was great fun. I prefer the hands on work, as sometime the theory can be a bit more boring. It’s not ideal coming from Largs to Irvine but I don’t really think about it because I enjoy the course.

I am working in maintenance this week at GE Caledonian, so I have been taking apart motors and working on different projects.

I asked to come to GE Caledonian for my work placement, as I think it’s where I want to work.

I want to get an apprenticeship when I leave school. I have really enjoyed this week here.

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James Laird

Aidan McIntyre, Apprentice Co-ordinator, from GE Caledonian commented “The Foundation Apprentices (FA) have come in with a first class attitude, ready to learn, and put the skills they have learned on the course into practice. The feedback we have received from our staff has been brilliant. Our staff have been working closely with them to build their skills and give them a real insight into what a career at GE Caledonian is like. They are now on our radar for future employment.

As a company GE Caledonian believes in being a part of the community and helping to develop the young workforce. Being involved in the Foundation Apprenticeship programme gives us the opportunity to get to know the FA’s and be a part of moulding the future engineers in our industry. It also offers a pipeline of talent into our Modern Apprenticeship programme that we know have the skills and knowledge we are looking for.”

Are you interested in a Foundation Apprenticeship? Find out more about the courses here.

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