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Thomas Halton City College Plymouth

Mechanical & Operational Engineering Technician Apprenticeship (NHS)

Ever since learning to ride a motorbike at eight years old, Thomas has had an interest in mechanics.

Trying his hand at a range of roles in the hospitality industry, from a chef to a barman, Thomas wanted to gain some real-world experience before settling on what he wanted to do with his career. But, his passion for mechanics, motorbikes and engineering was something that always had his attention …

“I’ve never taken one of my bikes to the garage, I’ve always worked on them at home with my dad. Even with cars, the only thing I’ve had to take a car to a garage for is a clutch replacement. Other than that I’ve always serviced all of my own vehicles, so entering this industry made the most sense to me.”

Drawn to a hands-on career that blended his passion for engineering with his love for helping people, Thomas embarked on a Mechanical & Operational Engineering Technician Apprenticeship with City College Plymouth, supported by the NHS, based at Derriford Hospital. As part of the estates team, Thomas finds the practical nature of the Apprenticeship perfectly aligns with his interests. 

“For me, working with my hands is one of the most interesting things I can do so I really wanted to make a career out of it.”

NHS Apprenticeships are designed to cater to a wide range of careers within the health sector, offering opportunities from entry to degree levels, including areas such as biomedical engineering, plant maintenance, heating, ventilation, air conditioning , and building services engineering. The perfect route for Thomas, who wanted a slightly different experience entering the industry.

The Apprenticeship offers Thomas a unique entry into a specialised field, where he takes on tasks in anything from working on industrial boilers and plant room installations to repairing high-temperature hot water systems. But, he chose the Apprenticeship for reasons beyond his desire to work in a field he loves; he was motivated by a need to help others, too.

“I’m really passionate about making the environment, outside of the clinical roles, as comfortable as I can for the patients. Whether that’s making sure I’m following our health and safety regulations to ensure everything runs smoothly or fixing a fault with the heating, my job allows me to provide a higher level of care for the patients and I get a huge amount of satisfaction from that.

The role begins with safeguarding yourself and your coworkers, but my job goes way beyond that. I work in engineering in the NHS to keep patients and staff happy and healthy.”

If you’re thinking about taking on an Apprenticeship and want to know more, just click here to explore the exciting possibilities that City College Plymouth has waiting for you.