National Apprenticeship Week – 8th to 14th February 2021 – Meet Patrick Elvidge

National apprenticeship week runs from 8th to 14th February 2021 and is here to celebrate the diversity of opportunity and value that apprenticeships bring, and how they can help individuals and employers build their future. 12-02-2021

In celebration of National Apprenticeship week we are focussing on Patrick Elvidge, who has been with Fusion since June 2014 on an apprenticeship scheme.  Here, Patrick talks about his apprenticeship and the value and benefits it has brought to in his role.

I started full time with Fusion in June 2014 on a 4 year advanced apprenticeship in Mechanical Engineering on a technical support pathway through Chesterfield College and Learning Unlimited.  My apprenticeship consisted of full time employment with 1 day a week day release to college to study for and complete my technical certificate which covered a wide range of engineering subjects.

My first role was within the development department of Fusion Equipment (previously owned by Fusion Group).  Initially, I rotated around different departments to get an overview of the company, the products and how they were made.  I then worked with the development team on new product ideas and product improvements.  This was a hand-on role involving various forms of machining, design work and production support.  I remained at Fusion Equipment until April 2016 when I was transferred to Fusion’s Fusamatic Manufacturing Facilities.

My role is now Mechanical Development Engineer within Fusamatic, and involves a wide range of manufacturing projects from dealing with new product development, bespoke manufacturing equipment, automation systems and product testing.  I work as part of the development team, working alongside senior engineers and managers learning from their engineering experience.

The variety of roles I undertake is interesting; one day I could be testing a new product, the next I could be building a new machine or manufacturing equipment and I am proud that I have learnt a wide range of different skills along the way (forklift licence, crane, welding, toolmaking, processing and testing to name a few).

I’ve also had the opportunity to go overseas and work with Fusion colleagues from around the world on various different projects which has given me an insight into how our manufacturing facilities operate across the globe.

In 2018 I completed my apprenticeship, gaining my advanced apprenticeship in Mechanical Engineering qualification (which includes a BTEC technical certification and an NVQ awarded on work based activities and evidence).  Since then I have undertaken my HNC in Mechanical Engineering at the AMRC Training Centre in Rotherham (part of the University of Sheffield and its Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC)), which is a 2 year course with a completion date of July 2021.

My advice to anyone thinking about undertaking an apprenticeship would be as follows;

‘If you are a school leaver or not sure what to do as a career, I would recommend going down the route of an apprenticeship.  When I first left school at 16 I wanted to follow the apprenticeship route rather than go down the traditional academic road.  It’s probably the best decision I ever made. The work experience, the new skills you can learn and the qualifications you gain all whilst being paid is a great prospect for anyone and I am proud to have been supported by Fusion throughout my apprenticeship journey.’

David Clayton, Product Manager said a final few words about Patrick and the value his apprenticeship has brought to Fusion;

‘Patrick is an asset to Fusion and a key member of our team, the fact that he has developed his skills “in house” within an apprenticeship scheme means he understands the “Fusion way of working” which has made his progression within the company and integration into the development team a much smoother process’
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