Six months in: catching up with our apprentices

September, 29th 2022

I’d be amazed to think that I had a role in its making” – Mackenzie Hartley.

Six months ago in March, IDH welcomed two apprentices, Mackenzie Hartley and Luke Cooper, onto the team in Manchester. During this time, they’ve been trained on safety, economy of design and buildability by our director of IDH Manchester, Anthony Kenmare. They’ve both shown great potential and it’s been rewarding watching them grow into IDH’s future engineers. 

Today, we caught up with Mackenzie and Luke to ask them about their experience so far. 

Why did you decide on an engineering apprenticeship? 

Luke: Before IDH, I was working full time in Starbucks, but had a background in maths that wasn’t being used to its full potential. I decided that I wanted to be able to push my knowledge in the workplace and see if it would help me develop as a person. And so far, it has!  

What drew you to apply for the apprentice role at IDH? 

Mackenzie: I’ve always loved STEM at school and college and when it came to deciding on a career, I knew this was the right path to go down. The apprentice role incorporates not only my academic interests but my personal ones too.  

The role that IDH offered involved everything I wanted in an apprenticeship – a great course and great leadership from experienced engineers who have guided me through valuable knowledge and information, hopefully leading to being a fully qualified engineer one day.  

What skills have you developed so far through the apprentice programme? 

Luke: Being able to produce consistent work within a tight time schedule is a big part of the role, so I’d have to say my time management skills have improved. 

Mackenzie: I’ve developed many skills from CAD to engineering equations, to learning about new programmes like Beam pal.  

What do you enjoy most about the role? 

Luke: I really enjoy the freedom that comes with this job where I get to work with my designs. Although I must work towards certain regulations, I can still make it my own.  

What do you find most difficult? 

Mackenzie: I find visualising some complex schematics quite difficult at the moment as I have not yet built up a visual portfolio in my head of what all these structures look like in real life and in schematics. I’m sure I will develop these skills in time and with more exposure to a range of designs and schemes.  

Why do you think apprenticeships are a good route for engineers? 

Luke: Apprenticeships are great as you’re able to slowly introduce yourself to the company and settle in, as well as studying at college. I think it’s far less intimidating than just being dropped into a new job and being expected to get on with it.  

What would be your dream engineering project? 

Mackenzie: My dream engineering project would have to be either a major premier league stadium like the Everton Stadium currently under way, or a new big city skyrise like The Shard. Something I could look up at and be amazed to think that I had a role in its making. 

Thank you both! We look forward to hearing more as your apprenticeships progress.