Class of 2020 – Albie Conroy
Sixteen-year-old Albie is celebrating gaining a place on a Machine Engineering Apprenticeship with Rolls-Royce after his successful GCSE results.
Albie joined the UTC in Year 10 after deciding the UTC offered him a more specialised education focussed on Engineering and studied GCSEs in Engineering, Maths, Science, English, Business and French. He said: “The UTC offered me the opportunity to use industry standard machinery and get a wider experience of the subject of Engineering.”
Albie has always had an interest in Engineering. He said: “My dad did Engineering in the Army and my brother went into the Navy doing Engineering, so I wanted to follow in their footsteps.”
The facilities at the UTC really appealed to Albie: “The things I enjoyed most whilst studying at the UTC were using the machines on a daily basis because no other schools can really offer that to you, and it paid off. When I went to my interview at Rolls-Royce they said not many people my age can say they’ve had that experience so it makes you stand out to employers.”
Employer led learning is a large part of the UTC education. Albie said: “We worked with lots of employers at the UTC, including Rolls-Royce, and that’s how I found out about their apprenticeship offers.
“One of my favourite parts of studying at the UTC was a Royal Navy trip to Portsmouth for a week to witness what the Navy experience is like and the jobs available. We visited HMS Collingwood, HMS Sultan and HMS Excellent and got to look around the working ships.”
Talking of his biggest achievement at the UTC, Albie said: “Gaining my good grades and being able to gain hands on experience working and making things on the machines are my two biggest achievements. So many people, even those older than me, haven’t had that experience so it puts UTC students in a really good position for the future.”
Now Albie is looking forward to his future: “I can’t wait to start my apprenticeship and be part of the real-world earning money. I’ll be based in Derby. The UTC has prepared me really well for my future and the apprenticeship. I wouldn’t have got my apprenticeship without my knowledge and experience from studying there. I’m looking forward to having opportunities within my apprenticeship at Rolls-Royce to travel around different countries so when the chance comes, I’d like to do that.”
As well as Engineering knowledge, Albie has developed soft skills: “I’ve developed my teamwork skills because we did lots of projects in groups. Everyone had a role and I learnt how to work in a team and skills to make the projects succeed. The school was very hands on and it helped prepare us for the real world.”
To anyone thinking about choosing the UTC, Albie said: “The UTC offers you so many opportunities that you wouldn’t get the chance to do otherwise. If you are interested in Engineering or STEM then go for it and apply.”