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A former Pembrokeshire College engineering apprentice is excelling in university after securing the Joseph Whitworth Award through the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).

Tom Brown, a former Ysgol Penryhn Dewi pupil, progressed to the Extended Diploma in Mechanical Engineering at the College before securing an apprenticeship with Puma Energy. It was whilst undertaking his apprenticeship, and completing the HNC in Mechanical Engineering at the College, that Tom found out about the IMechE Scholarship Awards which offer financial support to apprentices to help them to gain a university degree.

After a rigorous selection process, which culminated in a panel interview with three experts in mechanical engineering on Birdcage Walk in London, Tom secured the Joseph Whitworth Award and commenced a BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering degree at the University of the West of England in September.

The Whitworth Scholarship Awards were established to enable outstanding engineers, who have excellent academic and practical skills, combined with the qualities needed to succeed in industry, to undertake an engineering degree-level programme. The Award will pay for Tom’s university tuition fees helping to alleviate the financial burden of going away to university and at the end of his degree programme Tom will proudly become a ‘Whitworth Scholar’.

Visiting the College in December, Tom commented: “I would definitely recommend the Extended Diploma in Engineering to students following their GCSEs. The practical element really helped to relate theory to practise which in turn helped me to secure an apprenticeship with Puma Energy. The tutors are really knowledgeable and I’m looking forward to coming back to talk to current students about university and the IMechE awards and scholarships.”

Upon completing his degree Tom hopes to work in a managerial position within a large engineering company and commented: “I aspire to manage a team of engineers driving the development of new technologies putting us at the forefront of our industry. I believe my hands-on experience within my mechanical engineering apprenticeship, coupled with this degree will provide me with the skills and knowledge to work across multiple industries.”

The IMechE offers a range of scholarships and awards all aimed at encouraging innovation, entrepreneurship and lifelong learning. To find out more go to: imeche.org