Jake Cotton

Former City College Plymouth student Jake Cotton recently joined local manufacturing company Plessey Semiconductors after achieving a triple merit in his level 3 BTEC qualification. Originally tempted by the university route, Jake realised he was more suited to practical learning and has started a Higher-level Apprenticeship in Equipment Engineering. 

Jake explained: “Ever since secondary school, I have always enjoyed fixing mountain bikes and, more recently, motorbikes. I knew once I started doing this as a hobby that engineering was the career for me. The progression from identifying a problem and then fixing that problem is really satisfying.

“Even though I’m only a few months in, I know that an Apprenticeship was the right option for me. I love the hands-on experience I am getting and whilst it is a very supportive environment, there is a degree of independence that I like. I go home each day with a different story to tell as there is never a dull moment! I have already learned so much from my colleagues and my team manager, and a lot of this knowledge is transferable to different areas of engineering.”

Having completed an engineering BTEC at the College, Jake was already familiar with many of the staff who he will continue to see when he attends lectures one day a week. “It’s great to be able to continue to study at the College,” he said. “The staff are always there for you if you are ever struggling with something. I’m looking forward to being able to use the knowledge that we will gain from lectures. 

“I’m really looking forward to seeing how my skills and knowledge build over time, and I hope to gain enough experience to become a fully competent member of the Plessey team. 

“I’m pleased I’ve found a way to continue my academic studies, but to also gain valuable experience at the same time. Apprenticeships are a great pathway for any aspiring engineers.”