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Halifax born and bred, Leland is in the final year of a four-year course leading to a Level 3 BTec in Mechanical Engineering.

Route into apprenticeship: My dad is a joiner and I had helped him out a few times, but a few other family members are engineers and I was more interested in this kind of work. I wanted to do something practical – I couldn’t sit in an office all day.

Why PPS?: While I was at school, I did some work experience with PPS during the February half term, so I was already familiar with the company. I started my apprenticeship at PPS when I left school that summer.

The staff at PPS have helped me with a lot of things and it has been good to see how much the company has grown – they are expanding all the time, which helps with job security. People know we’re a good company and they trust us to do a good job.

Path of study: I’m following a four-year apprenticeship with a combination of assessment and end-of-year testing, with support from the Appris (apprenticeship provider) tutors and the engineers at PPS.

What do you enjoy most about the job?: I like the variety and the fact that it’s a hands-on job. I also enjoy the freedom of making my own schedule, going out to do jobs rather than being office based. I mostly cover the Leeds, Bradford and Huddersfield areas, although I’ve been up as far as Thirsk. It was great when I got my own van, I’d been looking forward to that for a while.

What sort of jobs have you been part of?: Mostly servicing work, although I’ve also helped out with some pipe fitting, including putting a full ring main in a brand new warehouse and connecting it up to the machines. I’ve also been put through my IPAF qualification, which lasts five years and allows me to drive scissor lifts, cherry pickers and other lifting machinery.

What has been the most interesting application you have seen?: I enjoyed going to the Adidas factory in Greater Manchester, but I’ve gone to all kinds of places. I’m doing services by myself but I’m not quite doing breakdowns alone yet. Now that I’m out on my own, I’ve really started learning, as you have to think more when you’re on site by yourself.

What has been the most unexpected part of the role?: Most customers are easy to get on with but the first difficult customer was a bit of a shock! You try to build up relationships over time and I’ve definitely become more confident than when I left school. To go from school into a job at 16 years old is quite a big step. I remember sitting in the office on my first day with no idea of what to expect, but I really enjoy working here.

What’s next for you?: By the summer I will be a fully qualified engineer. It’s gone really quickly – it doesn’t feel like I started four years ago.

If this type of role sounds like something you would be interest in doing why not come along to the Appris Engineering Apprenticeship Open Evening on Thursday 7th March. PPS will be there along with other engineering and manufacturing firms from around the region. Register to attend here and we will see you there!