Dan Butler - Junior Engineer Apprentice

Why did you choose an apprenticeship?
I was undecided about which route to take when I left school, and had looked at college and the Bentley Apprenticeship. I had already gained a place at the local college but had applied for Bentley as they were advertising a new Junior Engineer apprenticeship. This gave me the opportunity to benefit from on-the-job training along with the ability to gain a degree, something which it had been my ambition to achieve. Since starting the apprenticeship I really can't see why students wouldn't consider an apprenticeship, as you can be trained, gain qualifications and earn at the same time!

What is a typical day like?
Bentley does not have a typical day! Within the Interior Test team we are involved in a wide range of testing procedures to make sure our cars are safe.   I am then responsible for raising any issues with an engineer before an action plan is put in place. This discussion, along with report writing, are the only common things found on the job!

Are you studying for any qualifications?
I am currently working towards both a degree (BEng) in Mechanical Engineering and an NVQ 4 qualification in Engineering Leadership.  Prior to the degree I finished a B-Tec National Certificate in Mechanical Engineering, a Level 3 course which provided a natural progression to the degree route.

What's good about working at Bentley?
Bentley is a unique place to work, everything is based on one site so I have the opportunity to undertake a number of placements during my apprenticeship and build a network of contacts to help me with my career in the future.  The main reason is the cars; some people don't get to see our fantastic Mulsanne and GT's, never mind working on them everyday!

Any tips or advice you would give to someone applying for an apprenticeship?
Don't see apprenticeships as a "second best choice" to the college/university route.  Apprenticeships combine both the theory of qualifications and practical experience. Secondly, apprenticeships are learning processes, so don't feel any expectation to be a ready-made engineer / mechanic / business person before starting the course, and enjoy every opportunity given to you.