Toolmaker apprentice

Personal Background Information

Toolmaker apprentice

Tom Flight, Toolmaker apprentice, Brandauer


  • I think D&T is a highly sought after skill in the current job market.
  • The skills in my role are transferable and not only provide job satisfaction but some job security.
  • I enjoy the ‘hands-on’ nature of my job.
  • My advice to anyone wanting a manufacturing career is to find out as much as possible about modern industry an find the aspects you enjoy; if you have a job in an area about which you’re passionate, it won’t feel like work!
  • Careers in the British manufacturing industry are important for our nation’s future.




My apprenticeship combines manufacturing, maintenance and design.  Working in the toolroom, I take tools apart, inspect for wear and tear, maintain and replace parts and much more.  I also spend time in the drawing office where tools are designed.  My apprenticeship offers the opportunity to try different roles. 

Key Activities:

  • Machining components for tools on a lathe and milling machine
  • Using Spark Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM); wire EDM to program and set a CNC miller
  • Use SolidWorks for design and drawing components that need to be machined

Personal skills

The key skill revolves around problem-solving.  I also need to manage repetitive tasks to ensure these are done as quickly and safely as possible. 



I enjoyed science, particularly the practical experiments and took ‘A’ levels in maths, physics and chemistry.  After a semester at University, studying computer games design, I decided that the learning style did not suit me and decided to leave.


After leaving university, on advice from my grandfather and based on his experience, I chose an apprenticeship, taking up the offer from Brandauer in 2014.  I started as full-time trainee in a training centre to learn the foundation skills for engineering.  Having completed the first year, I now work fully at Brandauer with a weekly day-release session at the training centre to complete my level 3 NVQ.