Robert King

Engineer in the Technical Engineering Department

About you:

Once I had finished my GCSE’s I progressed onto sixth form to complete A levels. After a year I decided that the subjects and path I had chosen wasn’t for me, and chose to undertake a much more vocational course. The area of engineering had been something I had thought about for a while, so I went on to complete my City and Guilds Level 3 qualification in Electronic engineering on a full time basis. This also included some areas of mechanical engineering such as using engineering workshop machines like lathes and mills. Alongside college I found myself part-time job in catering. Even though the job wasn’t related to my college subject is was to gain work experience.    

In the last year of my level 3 qualification, I saw an advert at my college for a position at Pickering Electronics. I applied, had an interview and joined Pickering in September 2014.

Since Joining Pickering Electronics, I have had the opportunity to continue my study, by going back to college to complete the BTEC Level 4 Higher National Certificate in Electronic engineering on day release. I am currently in my second year of the BTEC Level 5 Higher National Diploma.


Your key duties and responsibilities: 

I work in the technical engineering department. Here I spend a lot of my time on computer aided drawing (CAD) which allows us to model products and equipment.

I’ve learnt a lot from the other engineers especially how to use CAD software programs.  Now that I’m more experienced I’ve taught myself a lot too which has opened more opportunity for me to design and create more complex things. In the last few years we have invested in buying some 3D printers which has opened up more possibility in how we design things. We now incorporate CAD and 3D printing on a day to day basis.

I also work closely with the marketing department, producing drawings and rendered images of products for our website, as well as animation videos.

Other day to day tasks I’m involved in are maintaining test and production equipment.  


Explain why you chose to start an apprenticeship at Pickering:

Whilst I was at school I always thought I would go to university to get a degree but the problem was I didn’t know what career I wanted to go into at the time.

However after studying a full time level 3 course in engineering I was hooked on the subject and was eager to start my career. The idea of being able to carry on my studies part-time while gaining valuable work experience sounded right for me; especially with how much student fees are now!


How do you balance work and study?

There are aspects of work and college that are related so this helps to consolidate my college work. My last college project was a piece of equipment that we designed and built at work. This was a big part of the course and being able to do it at work helped free up time for other modules that I had.

Colleagues at work were happy to answer any questions that had which was a huge help, and occasionally I am given study time to complete work.  


Future aspirations:

My main career goal at the moment is to complete my Higher National Diploma and continue to progress my career in Pickering Electronics technical engineering. 

One day I would like to move into a management role but at the same time continue design and technical work.  In the meantime hopefully I will have the opportunity to top up my HND to a full engineering degree.