Chesterfield News

Why should I start a career in manufacturing and engineering in Chesterfield?

Do you enjoy making things, or using maths and science to solve problems? How about checking for accuracy? Or making sure customers get the best service? If any of these relate, a career in manufacturing and engineering might be right for you.

There are plenty of positions to explore in the sector. However, for many people, it’s often only the warehouse-based roles that first come to mind.

In fact, the sector is so varied, we’re sure you will find an area to suit your skills. Especially in Chesterfield, where 4,000 people are employed in manufacturing and engineering companies.

Read on to hear from individuals about their experiences of working in the sector.

So, what roles can I choose from?

Careers in manufacturing and engineering can range from machine operator to quality assurance or business administrator to electrical engineer. The list goes on! Here are just 5 roles available locally that you could consider.

1. I could be: An Apprentice Fitter

Josh Henshaw is currently undertaking his Level 3 Engineering apprenticeship with his role as an apprentice Fitter at MSE Hiller. A typical day in this role might include visual inspections of machines or test running them to identify any problems and writing reports. Josh tells us:

Man inspecting machines

Josh Henshaw, MSE Hiller

“I decided to become an apprentice as it allows me the opportunity to experience working life and progress physically, while also continuing my education. I am enjoying my career in manufacturing and engineering as it allows me to be hands-on. It also encourages me to use multiple skills at once, like problem-solving, communication, creativity and using my initiative. I face new challenges daily, and the skills help develop you personally as well as in work. I have nothing but praise for the industry.”

2. I could be: A Water Civil Engineer Apprentice

Earthson Edison Xaviour is an apprentice Water Civil Engineer working for AECOM Chesterfield. A Water Civil Engineer designs and builds water-based projects, such as water treatment, sewerage and flood defence structures. Earthson Xaviour said:

Man sitting at a computer with google maps open

Earthson Edison Xaviour, AECOM

“I am passionate about the water recourses sector because this sector is extremely impactful. Engineers involved have an important role in the betterment of individuals and communities. I chose to do an apprenticeship because it would allow me to apply my academic knowledge and develop innovative solutions for problems. By selecting this course of study, I was able to explore a sector that I am passionate about, gain hands-on experience, and earn a degree in the process.”

Search career in manufacturing and engineering opportunities at AECOM Chesterfield…

3. I could be: A Business Administration Apprentice

Abi Lawson works in customer services for United Cast Bar as a Business Admin apprentice, which involves providing office support such as data input. She said:

Woman with blonde hair sitting at a desk with a computer

Abi Lawson, United Cast Bar

“I’m learning a range of different skills and meeting a range of different people from all over the world. So, even though I’m based in the customer service department, I’m getting the chance to work in a range of different departments alongside it. I can focus on the business side of things, working in the manufacturing and engineering sector and then switch it up and focus on the admin work my role brings me. I’m very passionate about where I work and what I do within United Cast Bar. As an apprentice, you are being pushed out of your comfort zone and being made to integrate into an environment that you have never been in before.”

Search career in manufacturing and engineering opportunities at United Cast Bar…

4. I could be: A Quality Practitioner Apprentice

Also an apprentice at United Cast Bar, Harry Snell is a Level 4 Quality Practitioner apprentice. This role involves ensuring that an organisation is meeting regulations and helping develop processes for this. He explained:

Man in orange high vis and yellow hard hat stood working with a steel bar

Harry Snell, United Cast Bar

“Working in the manufacturing and engineering sector can be fun as well as testing, and within this industry you’re able to learn a whole new skill set as well as meet and interact with new people. Even though I am part of the quality team, I interact with other departments and learn what it’s like to be in the sector.

“I am very passionate about my apprenticeship as it allows me to learn all about how a quality team and a business works from within. At United Cast Bar, as an apprentice you are challenged every day to complete new tasks and learn new skills. This has allowed me to grow and become more mature, as you are put into an environment that you have never been a part of. As I am learning all about quality systems and standards it’s showing me all about how a production business operates and this is something that I enjoy doing and learning about.

“My role at United Cast Bar is half office based and half shop floor based which is amazing as I love the flexibility that it has to offer. It has also given me the opportunity to see how things are produced. I can see all the extra work behind production, like all the standards and rules that businesses must comply to. In my opinion this is the best sector to be part of.”

5. I could be: an Engineer

Having completed her apprenticeship, Lauren Turner holds a Civil Engineering Degree Apprenticeship and works for AECOM. Civil Engineers design and oversee the building of structures like roads, railways and power plants. Lauren tells us:

Young woman sitting at a computer and smiling at the camera

“Working in the engineering sector is both challenging and rewarding. So far in my career I have worked on a wide range of projects – from assessing historic railway structures to designing components for a nuclear submarine dry dock. Earlier in my apprenticeship my job role was predominantly based around creating technical drawings and sketches. As I progressed through my apprenticeship and developed my knowledge and theory, I moved into the assessment and then design of structures which is predominantly based around undertaking calculations using both maths and computer programmes.

“In addition to technical based work, I have also gained site experience during my career. I began by assisting with inspections on site. As I developed within my career I moved onto supervising on site and planning/coordinating inspections. For females who are interested in getting into the industry – don’t be put off by the misconception that it is a male based industry. In my short career so far, the number of female colleagues I work with had increased vastly. Hopefully it will continue to do so as more females get into engineering whether it be through an apprenticeship or otherwise!”


Two men working with the slogan 'Find your apprenticeship' written across the image

If you’re feeling excited about the possibility of a career in manufacturing and engineering, there are lots of apprenticeship providers in Chesterfield that you can check out. You could also visit Chesterfield College for one of their Apprenticeship Advice Evenings or get involved with Made in Chesterfield. Whatever role you’re interested in, Chesterfield is a brilliant place to start your career.

Browse apprenticeship vacancies in Chesterfield…

Esther Hurst-Davis

Email Esther
Man in orange high vis and yellow hard hat stood working with a steel bar

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