We are keen to keep in touch with previous students from the Leigh UTC and are delighted to share a recent interview with Cameron.
Cameron was one of the very first students at The Leigh UTC starting in year 12 in September 2014. He had been a student at fellow Leigh Academies Trust school, Longfield Academy and made the change to pursue his specific interest in engineering.
On starting at the Leigh UTC, Cameron’s first impression was one of amazement in seeing the workshop! He’d had no idea of what to expect as the academy building had only been handed over a day before and there was still some finishing being conducted on site.
Out of fifty or so students in his year group, only knew one person. Being a new academy with only year 10’s and 12’s, he commented that the year groups became very close knit.
Whilst at Post 16 at The Leigh UTC, Cameron studied:
● Professional Qualification (PQ) He became an autodesk certified user
● EPQ Project- within this, he restored a classic car engine
● Triple engineering- his favourite subject
Looking back, his most prominent memory of the early days of The Leigh UTC was racing a student made go-kart around the school! This was great fun and raised money for charity
Equally, he has good memories of the business relationships utilised by the academy. For him, this included working with motor sports company, T3 where he went to their workshop and made motorbike parts and 8 Point 3 LED where he helped to design stabilizers using CAD.
He was employed by 8 Point 3 straight out of school where he worked for a year on both products and design, again using CAD. During this time, he was given a lot of responsibility, frequently travelled to sites and dealt with clients. He commented that he learnt self-discipline, enjoyed the job and grew in confidence. He was frequently thrown in at the deep end!
Moving on from 8 Point 3 in 2017, Cameron is now completing a tool room apprenticeship with SEM. Again, he came to know the company via the Leigh UTC. Whilst being based for his apprenticeship training one day a week at the Leigh UTC, his role is a mixture of making non production parts for SEM’s own machinery and making motor part proto types. Cameron commented on the supportive working atmosphere at SEM and working on state of the art machinery. The company is staff oriented and offers benefits such as a healthcare scheme.
When asked about his reminiscences of the Leigh UTC, Cameron commented that he has noted changes since joining including a stricter regime and a more diverse set of students in their career aspirations.
Cameron feels that by working in industry, he is able to bring some of that industry know how back to the academy to teachers and students alike. He commented that he has learnt to measure in microns, not millimetres and that precision is good advice to current students looking to follow a similar pathway.
When asked about the staff that he remembers, Cameron stated that his star teacher was Engineering Teacher, Miss Warner as she was one of the original teachers at the academy, is easy to get along with and puts supreme effort into going over and above in her job. He likes the continuity of her having always been at The Leigh UTC.
Looking to the future, Cameron explained that he would one day like to own his own machine fabrication company making custom parts for motor sports; the challenge of working to make “anything that has two wheels, four wheels and an engine” is where he sees himself.
Thank you to Cameron for taking the time to be interviewed for this article and share his thoughts. We wish him the very best for his future career and hope to interview him again in years to come.