An interview with Jake Emms, aged 17.

How did you first hear about Tomcat?

I first heard about Tomcat when a job opportunity got emailed to me when I was in secondary school.

Tell me a little about your experience with Tomcat (How it started, what you did, who you worked with, and how the apprenticeship came about)

When I received the email from my past secondary school, I wrote a basic CV up, stating what I was studying at school and some skills I had in basic things such as DIY and car maintenance. Not long after I sent my CV I received an email asking when I could come and see Bob for an interview; A week later I want for the interview and was offered to come down on the next Saturday for a trial, in fact it was Saturday the 2nd June 2016

My role when I first stated at Tomcat was a sub-assembler, for my age at the time this was an amazing opportunity compared to the jobs that most younger people do (for example cleaning or working in fast food). My job was to assemble all the basic components that make up most of the Tomcat Trikes; this would be things such as the hitches on the trailer bars, components for the carer control system, pedal elements, and preparation of brackets and plates that go on the trikes. I worked 8 till 2 every Saturday.

I worked with a few people on a Saturday, this would include Jack, Rob and a few other people who came and went throughout the two years I did this.

My Engineering apprenticeship came about after a year and a half of hard work at Tomcat, I was offered it by Bob after spending the 2nd summer at Tomcat helping to build our new factory and office that we use today. I can honestly say that was the best days of my life.

Do you enjoy working at Tomcat, why?

I love spending my time working at Tomcat, why? Because there is never a day that goes by where I don’t learn a new skill or a better way of doing something.

What does your day-to-day work include?

I would say two days are never the same at Tomcat, I spend a fair amount of time helping and doing different job roles depending on what needs doing. For example, some days I spend time in the machine shop learning new skills, and some days I spend time on the assembly bench helping to make products that go out to the end user.

What New Skills have I learnt?

So far, I have learnt:

  • Basic Machining & engineering Skills
  • Some Stock Management Skills
  • How to use high accuracy measuring equipment
  • How to problem solve efficiently!

What part of your job have you found most interesting so far and why?

My favourite job at Tomcat would be the machining side of it, this is because you can take a raw material and turn it into a highly accurate component. The other reason I enjoy it is because there is never one way of doing something and you’ve got to choose and figure out the best way of doing it all within tight tolerances.

What benefits can you already see being in a work environment?

An apprenticeship is so much more rewarding than being in a school or college, this is because you get hands-on experience which can never be taught in a classroom, it helps make you become a more independent person, and best of all you get paid to learn!

I would recommend engineering to anyone, it’s such a diverse industry which means two careers are never the same, the opportunities are truly endless.