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Aaron Shepherd, 20, from Hoylake, Wirral, took part in T Level work experience with one of the University’s commercial occupants Altimex while he was at Cheshire College South and West studying for a Level 3 distinction in Electronics and Engineering.

After considering a full-time degree, Aaron decided this approach was not for him, preferring to work alongside his studies and he approached Altimex for employment. Altimex provides a broad range of electronics manufacturing, bespoke LED lighting and fibre optic solutions.

Recognising Aaron’s potential, Davinder Lotay, Managing Director at Altimex offered him the opportunity to take part in a Degree Apprenticeship where he both works as a Production Assistant for the company and will gain a degree from the University of Chester at the same time. The company have also offered him employment at the end of his studies.

Davinder said while chatting to Aaron about his future he realised that an apprenticeship route with Altimex would provide the ideal solution.

He said: “An apprenticeship is a great fit for Aaron as there’s lots of hands on experience to be gained as well as achieving a degree at the end of it too. He is keen to gain more qualifications whilst working.

“There will also be a position for him here when he finishes. We’ve helped many students with placements and I’m still in touch with the majority of them. This just demonstrates the importance of work experience placements and the relationship generated from them that could potentially lead to securing employment in the future.”

Aaron said: “During my initial time with Altimex, I had the support of Cheshire College South and West with my studies, while also having the support at the workplace. Davinder and the team at Altimex have been able to teach me new skills such as manufacturing custom LED lighting systems and working with precision instrumentation and machinery. The big moment for me at the company, was working independently and as a team to assemble an array of LED lighting systems for a top end residential project in a short time period. In the past I have gained experience in the assembly of electronic circuit boards and now with starting on the apprenticeship, it will allow me to further understand how they function during my time in the Test and Measurement lab.

“I’m really pleased to be studying for a Degree Apprenticeship as it will give me a really useful qualification as well as vital experience needed for my career.”

Dr Martin Morlidge, Head of Commercial Operations at the University of Chester’s Thornton Science Park, said: “This is a great example of how business and academia can work together to create positive outcomes for the skillset and economic need of our region.”

 

Aaron Shepherd; Davinder Lotay; Justin Madders MP and Professor Eunice Simmons, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Chester during a visit last year.

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