Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) and QinetiQ apprentices have designed and built a torch to mark National Apprenticeship Week 2015 as part of a joint project for the Skills Funding Agency (SFA). The apprentices designed and built the torch to represent the passing on of knowledge from different apprenticeship training providers across the country.
The torch was completed within a tight six-week deadline. This included a one week design phase, three weeks arranging dimensions and tolerances, as well as finalising the design of the electronic components, followed by two intense weeks of construction.
To show the link to National Apprenticeship Week the torch was specially designed to have an unusual light beam that projects an image of the SFA Apprenticeships logo.
Dan Roncoroni, a Dstl Engineering Apprentice says:
Making the torch was a great project to work on especially as it all had to come together so quickly. It was exciting to be able to work on everything from the initial design to turning the brass for the torch and constructing the final electrics to create the finished product. The main reason I chose an apprenticeship was due to the costs associated with university, and the fact that I felt I could make more progress in my chosen field by completing an apprenticeship. I love the fact that the tutors and mentors here at Dstl are willing to invest their time into the apprentices. It’s given me the opportunity to explore a lot of engineering related topics that I didn’t have the time or facilities to look into at home.
Della Williams, Team Leader Engineering Apprenticeships, Dstl says:
This project gave the apprentices the opportunity to put the skills they have learnt so far to the test. It has really helped their learning and their skills have improved dramatically. Dstl is proud to take on a number of apprentices each year and through our schemes we aim to equip them with the skills they need to build a successful career.
Paul Lucken, Deputy Director Employer and Delivery Services for the South West, Skills Funding Agency, says:
Apprenticeships are at the heart of the government’s drive to equip people with the skills employers need to grow and compete. Nearly every employer that takes on an apprentice reports benefits to their business from improved productivity, products or services, the introduction of new ideas to the organisation, improved staff morale and better staff retention.
Dstl recruits around 10 to 15 new apprentices each year. The Dstl apprenticeship schemes mix formal classroom-based study alongside practical hands-on training across the workshop, laboratory and office facilities.
Dstl’s apprentices are helping to bust some of the myths surrounding apprenticeships and careers in science and technology. Read our case studies to find out how.