James Worsley joined UTC Leeds in Year 10 and is now moving on to a prestigious Degree Apprenticeship with global engineering giant Siemens.
James joined UTC Leeds from a school in Bradford aged just 14 when it first opened in 2016. He said, “I saw the UTC advert on TV, and I thought it would be good to come here for Product Design as I liked doing Design Technology in my previous school.
“I really liked it when I got here, it was very different to my old school.”
James liked it so much he stayed on for the sixth form to continue with his Engineering studies alongside Geography A Level and Maths: “At the UTC I found that Engineering Systems and Control interested me more than Product Design, as we were programming Siemens PLCs used in industry all over the world.”
The PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers used in manufacturing) were attached to a small-scale mini factory at the UTC, which is like a mock-up of a real factory in industry. James said, “We had to learn to program these using ladder logic, which did require a lot of problem solving to make them work the desired way.”
It is this kind of problem-solving mentality that helped James secure a sought-after apprenticeship with Siemens, one of the world’s leading engineering companies. James has been offered a place to join Siemens Rail Automation on their Digital and Technology Solutions Degree Apprenticeship, starting on 1 September.
He said, “At Siemens I will get to work on projects like the Crossrail project in London where Siemens are providing all the train signalling control and communications systems.
“Within the apprenticeship I’ll be rotating round different departments and jobs. When I find a department that I like I can specialise in that. They don’t just want you to come and do one job, they want you to find what you enjoy and stay on after your apprenticeship.”
The assessment process was highly competitive and involved many stages: “One of the questions was to give examples of using your ingenuity for life and I was able to give two examples including being at the UTC, programming the PLC, not always getting it to work then having to use my resilience to make it work, because if you don’t make it work you’re not going to pass your Engineering.”