Why I came to ISF
I first learned about ISF when I was at York College studying for Level 3 BTEC in Manufacturing Engineering. In the second year of the course, one of the managers from ISF came to the college to talk about the company and the type of people they were looking for. They showed us how they installed an animal feed milling system which consisted of all the steelwork, gantries, ladders, stairways as well as conveying machinery.
I really liked the look of ISF and the type of work they did, which sounded very varied and practical, as well as new and interesting – which was exactly what I was looking for. They appeared to be a close-knit team and a company that really supported their staff to learn new skills, plus they were based locally to me in York, whilst offering the chance to travel for site installation, which I liked the sound of. So, I applied for a position of CAD Junior Draughtsperson.
What happened on my Apprenticeship
I joined ISF in 2018 and immediately got to use my Level 3 in Manufacturing Engineering, which included producing CAD drawings. When I was at York college, I had spent a week’s placement at the University of York, working in the mechanical workshop, creating and detailing drawings for the projects they were running there. Being able to help the team with my CAD knowledge I’d learnt in college was hugely satisfying.
During my apprenticeship I worked four days a week at work and had a day release to go to the training centre, which was well equipped with the relevant staff and equipment.
My work colleagues helped a lot whilst on my apprenticeship, ensuring all my drawings were able to be read by our fabricators, and making sure they complied with certain regulations. They taught me a lot about how the machinery that we design works and were brilliant at safely training me for hands-on work, including using hand tools, machinery, and welding. The ISF team took me to customers’ sites on multiple occasions, showing what needed to be taken out and replaced with our new equipment.
Some advice that has stuck with me is:
“Always double-check your drawings and don’t rush through fabrication drawings; make sure assemblies and parts fit back on to the general arrangement to prevent problems on site installations at a later stage”.
My job at ISF now
My job role has evolved quite a bit since my apprenticeship. I have taken on more responsibility, including making out orders for job parts and using our CNC software for nesting sheet metal flat patterns. I am also studying towards an HNC in Process Engineering at Teesside University, and am excited to be applying my knowledge from the course in real time for ISF’s customers.
Drawing out general arrangements is now a daily activity of mine, and making sure our equipment will fit in the area that one of our managers has surveyed. I enjoy the feeling of a job you have designed and drawn being fabricated and assembled. But the best is when it is finally installed, especially with bigger jobs that have been worked on a lot longer. It’s a very satisfying aspect of this job.
I would consider an apprenticeship at ISF as the amount of training available is brilliant, and the support between everyone is excellent; you are always learning at a place like ISF.