Lawrence Powell is one of 13 product design and development apprentices at Renishaw who have graduated from Coventry University, the first group to do so via a partnership between the two organisations. Now the proud holder of a 2:1 BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering Design degree, Lawrence did not have the easiest start in life, but has worked hard and taken his opportunities to embark on a successful career, driven by his love of engineering.
“I didn’t get a great start in life – I was one of four children raised by a single mother who was unemployed,” said Lawrence.
“But at 13 I discovered a passion for engineering and realised this could be my way to earn a living. I started building things - bikes, multi-gyms, and so on – and it turned out I was quite good at it.”
After exploring some other career options, Lawrence returned to engineering and successfully applied for the apprenticeship scheme at Renishaw.
“Thanks to this apprenticeship, I’m now finally in a position where my start in life can no longer define how it ends,” said Lawrence.
“I have the tools to open many doors and my future is whatever I choose to make of it. Apprenticeships are an excellent method of gaining higher qualifications without incurring debts. To aspiring apprentices, don’t be discouraged if you come from an underprivileged background, because through these routes anybody can succeed if they put the effort in.”
In partnership with Coventry University’s Faculty of Engineering, Environment and Computing, Renishaw recently introduced the apprenticeship graduate scheme to give employees the opportunity to progress and develop at degree level, gaining valuable transferable skills and broad engineering knowledge.
“Renishaw is incredibly proud of our apprentices and what they have achieved,” said Julia Russell, apprentice lead at Renishaw.
“Their degree results are testament not only to their hard work and dedication – studying for a degree while performing and developing in their roles is no easy task – but also their passion for engineering," she added. "Renishaw and Coventry University have a good, collaborative relationship. The university has been flexible and adapted to our needs and has supported us all at every step of the journey.”