Ladder for The Black Country: Joshua's determination leads to new role

An apprentice’s “sheer determination” at maths has resulted in a job as a junior design engineer at a West Midlands electrical engineering firm, thanks to training experts at BCTG.

 Joshua Rushton (left) receiving his qualification from Malcolm Blunston, of Craig & Derricott
Joshua Rushton (left) receiving his qualification from Malcolm Blunston, of Craig & Derricott

Joshua Rushton enrolled on a four-year apprenticeship back in 2018 at Craig & Derricott, a company which supplies products to the manufacturing and rail sectors.

Joshua only had a low school grade in maths, but due to his “exceptional” hard work he went on to pass the subject at higher levels.

He has now completed his Level 3 apprenticeship in Computer Aided Design (CAD).

The 20-year-old from Walsall Wood now hopes to become a fully qualified design engineer within two years, with his eyes then set on potential managerial roles.

Paul Howcroft, a training advisor at BCTG, said: “Josh has done exceptionally well to qualify in his apprenticeship, and a major factor was his determination at maths.

“He had a low grade when he first started and was initially only taking a NVQs at Level 2, but after his first year he was doing so well that his employer asked me to put him onto the higher Level 3 course.

"We gave him extra maths tuition and due to his hard work and sheer determination he passed his maths and has now gone on to complete his apprenticeship.

“We are thrilled for him and very proud of what he has achieved.”

Joshua explained how his apprenticeship at Craig & Derricott has taught him all about the switchgear products they make and the CAD system the firm uses to produce detailed drawings and models.

He said: “I applied for an apprenticeship because it would provide me with job experience, more life skills, and I would be paid to train.

“I had many challenges throughout my apprenticeship such as Covid, but with the support of colleagues and my assessor I completed the scheme.

“Looking back, I feel I’ve grown in confidence due to a working environment where I’ve dealt with suppliers, customers and other colleagues.

“I’m now a junior design engineer with a development plan to enable me to become a fully qualified design engineer within two years, and potentially in the future I’d like to be in a managerial role for an engineering department.”

Malcolm Blunston, technical director at Craig & Derricott, also based in Walsall Wood, said: “Choosing the right person is key to any successful apprenticeship, and Josh proved to be an excellent candidate who was willing to learn and do his very best when given a task to complete.

“Josh was exposed to all products that we manufacture to gain a good understanding of how they operate and where they are installed.

“With this knowledge he has the ability to design new products and improve existing ones.

“He’s now an integral part of the engineering team and has become a valuable and reliable asset to the company.”

Joshua added: “Malcolm has always been there to answer any questions I’ve had and has pushed me to progress further by doing a higher BTEC qualification.

“My assessor at BCTG was always there throughout my apprenticeship, always helping if I had any questions to complete any work.”

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