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A Day in the life

10 Nov, 2021 | Return|
  • Your full name


Thomas Riley


  • Your current role


I am currently a third-year apprentice for Norbar studying a Level 3 Advanced Manufacturing and Machining qualification. I currently spend 1 day per week studying at Abingdon and Witney college, and 4 days per week training on site in Norbar’s machine shop to become a CNC setter.


  • When you started and what made you want to apply


I started my apprenticeship in July 2019 where I spent 6 weeks in Norbar becoming familiar with both the factory but also to get to know everybody before going off to study at college. I wanted to apply to Norbar because upon reading into Norbar I was extremely impressed by the high level of quality, precision, and pride they take with every single tool or component produced. I also wanted to apply to Norbar because every employee or apprentice that I had spoken to did not have a bad word to say about the company. As well as this I had heard that the apprenticeship scheme was fantastic and ensured that apprentices get complete support throughout their 4 years and continue to support them after their apprenticeship is completed.


  • How Norbar has supported you


Since starting my apprenticeship Norbar has fully supported me with both my college work and my in-company training. Norbar has ensured that I have received a high quality of education and performance in both practical and theory units and have an Engineering Trust training officer that meets with me regularly to ensure that I am keeping up with all the work needed to complete my qualification, and to ensure that I have no issues regarding safeguarding within the company and college.


  • Favourite part of the role


I enjoy every aspect of my role at Norbar however my favourite part is the fact that everyday there is always something new and exciting to learn, and as well as this there are always challenges to overcome. Also everybody at the factory is extremely helpful and are always happy to improve my knowledge of CNC machine setting.  


  • Plans for the 2-3 years


Within the next 3 years I hope to have completed my apprenticeship having completed my level 3 NVQ qualification, with the possibility of completing a HNC qualification in Mechanical engineering. I also hope to be fully trained in setting CNC machines. On top of this I hope to be involved with the up-and-coming apprentices by completing a mentoring qualification to help them through their apprenticeship and to provide support like I have received.


  • Experience beforehand and knowledge now


Before starting my apprenticeship at Norbar I only had experience of simple hand fitting exercises from workshops in school. However, since starting my apprenticeship I have learnt skills such as, further hand fitting and the ability to use manual lathes and milling machines. I have also covered skills such as wiring both electronic and electrical circuits. Since completing these skills at college I have completed tasks such as assembling and calibrating gearboxes and torque wrenches and have now started training on setting 3-axis CNC lathes.

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