Apprentice Case Studies

Olly Swinden

Current Apprentice

Olly initially applied to the Reliance Precision Apprenticeship Scheme whilst studying for his GCSEs at Shelley College. He’d learnt about the scheme from a presentation Reliance gave at the school and thought that it sounded interesting. He was invited to attend an initial interview, but unfortunately was advised his application would not be taken any further. He therefore decided to remain at Shelley and study A-level Maths, Physics and Product Design. Undeterred by the initial rejection, he re-applied for the Reliance Precision Apprenticeship Scheme as the end of his A-levels approached. To cover all bases, he also applied to study an engineering design degree at the University of Huddersfield. Olly then found himself in the fortunate position of having offers from both Reliance and the university. However, for him, it was a clear choice. He said: “It was an easy decision choosing the Reliance apprenticeship. Whilst both offered a great learning opportunity, the apprenticeship meant I could get a foothold on an engineering career while being paid and not having the burden of university debt in the future.”

Olly’s apprenticeship began in August 2022 in Reliance’s accredited Apprentice Training Facility. One of four apprentices taken on that year, he began learning core engineering skills, guided and supported by the team leader and fellow apprentices. The focus of this initial year is the manual milling and turning machines, learning in detail how they operate. Olly attends Kirklees College twice a week where he is studying for his Level 2 Diploma in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering. As part of this he attends lectures and completes coursework and assignments.

Olly comments: “For me the apprentice route was by far the most attractive. Learning on the job suits me, and I believe it’s more effective than if I was in a pure study environment. Personally, I think the Reliance apprenticeship is the best around. I’m learning loads and I am becoming much more confident using the machines.” He continues: “Reliance is a good company to work for and the people here are really nice and supportive. I genuinely look forward to coming in to work each day.”

Whilst he is enjoying his first year and working had to learn as much as possible, Olly is looking forward to moving onto the Year 2 rotation. He explains: “It’s still early days, so as yet I don’t have a firm idea of where I’d like my future career to go. What I do know though is that I’m definitely in the right business. There are so many options and possibilities. I will use my time on rotation to see what I enjoy doing and where that might lead me. Exciting times ahead!”