Apprentice profile: Dan Hyde, Matsuura Machinery Ltd


In the first of a new series, Contributing Editor Steed Webzell chats to Dan Hyde about his recent journey through the apprenticeship scheme at Matsuura Machinery Ltd

“At school I was interested in maths, not writing-based subjects; I wanted to avoid any writing,” quips Dan Hyde, an Applications Engineer who recently completed an apprenticeship at Matsuura Machinery Ltd. “After finishing my A-Levels at school, I didn’t fancy another three years in education, let alone the prospect of being in debt due to the high university fees. The apprenticeship route seemed far more appealing. To make use of my passion for maths, I began applying for apprenticeships in both engineering and accountancy.”

As luck would have it, a charity that helps youngsters find apprenticeships visited Dan’s sixth-form class in Leicester. He was struggling to find an opportunity, so the charity provided him with a list of potential suitors. That list included Matsuura Machinery.

“In all honesty, I didn’t know what a machine tool was, but I did my research prior to the interview,” he reveals. “Fortunately, we were a good match and Matsuura handed me an apprenticeship, beginning in 2018.”

Dan did five days a week at college for the first year, achieving Level 2 and 3 in this period. This structure meant he could concentrate on Matsuura and on-the-job training for the final two years. Although not part of the apprenticeship, Matsuura also gave Dan the opportunity to get his HNC/HND, one day a week over four years. He will finish the HND this summer.

“As a fully-fledged Matsuura Applications Engineer I have quite a varied role,” he says. “It includes commissioning and training on machines, typically involving a week on site at the customer.”

Dan also provides phone-based customer support and gets involved in turnkey projects and engineering assistance. He is trained on a variety of industry-leading CAM packages.

“The apprenticeship was highly positive,” he concludes. “My advice to anyone thinking about becoming an apprentice is do it! Keep learning. I’m still learning every day. While my applications and programming knowledge is really good, sometimes I need to ask about a specific metal-cutting application. Never be afraid or embarrassed to ask questions; that’s my best tip of all.”

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