We are delighted that John Richards, one of our Year 13 students, has successfully secured a Level 3 Maintenance Engineering Apprenticeship with Toyota.

We asked John to share his journey to this role and he has mapped it out for us:

“To gain the position I have at Toyota I first had to get experience in the world of engineering. To do this I chose Design Technology at GCSE and at A-level I did Physics Maths and Chemistry. Alongside this, I decided to do extra work related to engineering, so for community service I helped the DT Department by teaching students to work safely on the lathes and milling machines and I completed a MOOC on manufacturing processes to further my knowledge.

When I decided I wanted to apply for the maintenance apprenticeship at Toyota I had to answer some long questions on their site through their application process to tell them what would make me a good apprentice and why I wanted to work with Toyota over other companies.

Once I had got through the first stage they got me to do three online tests. One was mathematics, one was engineering comprehension, and the last was a simple problem solving task where speed was the most important element. These tests can’t really be revised so you just have to try your best in them (though there are practice test to give you an idea of what you’ve got to do beforehand).

As I was successful in that, I went to the assessment centre at Toyota’s manufacturing plant where I did a group exercise which included a presentation, an informal interview and a dexterity task where we had to copy a structure made from nuts, bolts, washers and metal plates in a limited amount of time. This was the most challenging task but was also the most enjoyable for me.

As I passed that I got the opportunity for a final interview with them which is just a normal interview and a couple weeks later they let me know I’d got the apprenticeship.”

Matt Allman, Headteacher, said: “We have been delighted to support John through this process and we are all, not least our Careers and Sixth Form teams, delighted with his well-deserved success. This is a wonderful opportunity, and for a school which pushes top-level apprenticeships as much as university, this represents something we are very proud of.”