A careers starter: Hythe Engineering apprenticeship scheme

An interview with Hythe Engineering apprentice Tyrrell Ford. Take a look behind the scenes into the life of a Hythe apprentice.


About Hythe Engineering

Hythe Engineering is the leading turnkey provider of engineering, fabrication and repair services to the marine, civil engineering and waste management sectors. They currently employ 10% of their workforce as apprentices across different trades within the business, which includes pipe fitting, welding, light and heavy fabrication and hands-on machining, to name a few.

We spoke with Tyrrell Ford who is currently participating in the apprenticeship scheme to find out more about his experience with Hythe Engineering.


How did you find out about the Hythe Engineering apprenticeship scheme?

I was in full-time education studying Marine Engineering and as part of my course, I had to complete a week’s work experience. I contacted Hythe Engineering, who offered me the experience for five days and at the end of that time they suggested I join them on their apprenticeship scheme. As I was still completing my course, they worked with me to ensure that I could finish it, allowing me time off when needed to complete my studies.


What interested you in the Hythe Engineering apprenticeship scheme?

I was in the workshop with the teams for that initial week and saw what went on behind the scenes. I was made to feel like a part of the family within that first week and was able to get an insight into all the different trades, after that I knew I wanted to be part of the Hythe team.


What have been the highlights of the apprenticeship scheme for you?

There are so many highlights, I don’t know where to start. One of the important life skills I have learnt is how to work well within a team. As an independent family-run business, I found that all staff and managers are very dedicated to making the apprenticeship a success, both as a scheme and for each individual. Everyone has spent so much time with me ensuring that I have the skills required to tackle all projects.

They supported, and paid, for me to complete driving lessons during work time and paid for my driving test too. Clearly this is a benefit to the company going forward but also a hugely independent step for me and the other apprentices.

As well as learning all the skills required for fabrication and welding, Hythe Engineering is now supporting me through my 3.0 CSWIP welding inspection course, designed for welders who carry out the visual examination of welded joints. The apprenticeship is linked to NVQ and City & Guilds qualifications, with training in partnership with Highbury College, Southampton University, PETA and BAE Systems, so I will complete the apprenticeship with lots of knowledge and new qualifications.


What is your normal day like on the apprenticeship scheme?

Every day is different, there are different jobs going on at all times, some are long-term projects and others are shorter one-off tasks. One of the most interesting jobs I take part in is welding tests on different materials to see what passes and fails. Thanks to this apprenticeship I am skilled in dealing with a large variety of materials.

This training has also enabled me to conduct 6G pipe tests on the Type 45 Royal Navy vessels and guided missile destroyers. Some days, I can’t believe this is my job!

Many staff at Hythe Engineering have been there for quite a few years and they’re all very encouraging of the scheme and not at all threatened by us young newcomers. They seem to be so happy to share their knowledge.


What is your plan post-apprenticeship?

I started my apprenticeship in 2017 and it’s a three year scheme. After completing the apprenticeship, I am guaranteed a job with the team. Our main base is in Portsmouth and at the moment I am mainly based there, because of the time I need to spend at college, but it is normal to spend time on some of the other sites too, like Rosyth and Barrow.

I am planning to stay at Hythe for as long as possible as they are very keen to highlight capabilities and push you to be the best that you can be. I imagine the future will involve welding expansion courses, as I have taken a real interest in the welding side of the business.

As part of the apprenticeship we attend first aid and health and safety training and in the future I may complete safety management courses as well.

I really enjoy doing the scheme, I like being hands-on with things and would rather be earning money whilst I am learning. There are lots of staff at Hythe who have been here for a long time and each one of them has provided a huge amount of support for me, it’s a family-run business and we all feel like a part of it.

I would like to eventually give something back to Hythe by supporting future generations of apprentices.


Join the Hythe Apprenticeship Scheme

If you’re interested in becoming a Hythe Engineering apprentice simply get in touch with our team via our website. In your email enclose a copy of your CV along with an outline of what you are interested in doing. We also need you to provide a point of contact, a brief description of how you heard about us and why you want to do an apprenticeship with Hythe Engineering in particular.

Upon review of your application, a member of our team will get in touch. The next steps would be to bring you in for a week to a month to give you a proper understanding of what you will be signing up for, in addition, this helps us to get to know you better. After this process, if all is a good fit, you could be looking at being our next apprentice!

I was made to feel like a part of the family within that first week and was able to get an insight into all the different trades, after that I knew I wanted to be a part of the Hythe Team.