Meet the Master Crafters: Part VIII
Elliott Biggin - Fabrication Apprentice
What made you want to get into manufacturing & engineering?
I went to UTC Sheffield – an engineering and technical college. It was there I learned engineering manufacturing. But I’ve always been more of a hands-on learner. I’ll be honest – with writing stuff down; I hardly learn anything from that. I worked elsewhere before here; it was mostly me sitting at a computer, going through records and spreadsheets. I’m going to be 100% honest I was not fond of it at all. I much prefer this kind of job. I’ve always liked working with my hands and wanted a job that I could do and enjoy. You know the saying, ‘Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.’
What does a typical week look like for you?
I am currently a Level 2 fabrication and welding apprentice. Monday – Thursday, I’m at Northern Lights focusing on that, and Fridays, I’m at Chesterfield college to do my theory work. I think it’s going well.
Which area have you enjoyed working in most so far?
I’ve learnt a lot of stuff; I think it’s all interesting. I’ve learned how to weld; that’s new. I like the fact it allows you to create lots of new things. Whenever I see a new product that I haven’t worked on before, I’m like, “wow, this is new, and it’s exciting!”.
What do you do outside of work?
I love catching up with friends, watching movies, and caring for my dad’s dog Aria. I also love steam trains. I got a message about the Royal Scot coming in through Chesterfield, and I just had to go and see that.
What skills do you think are beneficial in this type of work?
I guess following instructions and having attention to detail. There was one job where these discs needed to be welded together to form the base of a lamp we were making. But some of the discs didn’t seem the right size to me. So I let people know, and we fixed it. I guess you could say problem-solving is important.
How are the people at Northern Lights?
Dariusz, my supervisor, is teaching me everything I need to know. He’s a really good teacher. I’ll give him that. He’s a nice guy. Then there’s Craig, who is also, in a way, my supervisor. He’s a really helpful person as well.
What other skills have you learned from being here?
When I was in education, I only interacted with people my age. Everyone here has supported my apprenticeship, and I’m helping with many jobs, so I’m more confident with people of all ages now. It’s a nice workplace; I always thought I’d work somewhere like this.
Would you like to continue working with Northern Lights after your apprenticeship?
I certainly would. I’m a lucky guy to be here. It’s been a really good experience so far. I look forward to doing my Level 3 and continuing my training at Northern Lights.