In support of National Apprenticeship Week, we have joined Twitter’s #AskAnApprentice by asking the most frequently asked questions to two of our current apprentices.

Matthew Barker and Tom Appleton are both in their third year working for CAL International as apprentices and are both currently in their first year studying for a HNC in Mechanical Engineering at St. Helen’s College.

What would you say to someone that was considering an apprenticeship?

Matthew: Do it! The amount of experience you gain is incredible. It’s much better to be able to be a part of a company and have that experience from a younger age.

Tom: Of course; for people like Matthew and I, and I guess many others, exams aren’t what we were best at. Doing this apprenticeship allows us to show our skills in a much more creative and vocational way.

What do you find the benefits of your apprenticeship have been?

Matthew: Well, experience is the main one. As well as being able to work with lots of real world clients we also get a degree level qualification at the end of it.

Tom: The practical skills and training that we gain on the job are invaluable to the industry we both wish to work in. This has to be the biggest benefit for me as it helps us prepare so much for any future work.

Matthew: And unlike graduates who will have debt and no experience, we have experience and no debt!

Finally, what is your favourite part of being an apprentice at CAL International?

Matthew: Obviously getting paid is a huge bonus! Other than that, it is probably the ability to be able to create rather than read out of a textbook. We can physically see and hold our projects rather than just read about them.

Tom: Yes you’re right [Matthew]. I think also the ability to be able to see a project through from start to finish is my favourite part. CAL take an idea and follow it through to production, every step of the way. As apprentices, this gives us a great overview of the entire design engineering world and that is something most people our age can’t say they have.

For more information about CAL International, the services we offer and apprenticeship opportunities, visit or call 01511244359 to speak to a member of the team.