Karl was first introduced to the idea of a future in engineering whilst at school. When he was 15, his school organised a two-year engineering course at NETA in Stockton-on-Tees, focusing on mechanical design. As part of the course, Karl was tasked to work on a project to build a clock.
He found the design aspects of the task especially interesting. His fascination grew and by the end of the project Karl was hooked and he knew he wanted to pursue a career in engineering. On leaving school, he signed up for an ECITB apprenticeship in Design and Draughting.
Karl spent his first year at NETA, where he learnt the basic principles of design, including how to identify and analyse design options, the types of drawings and specifications used in engineering, characteristics of materials and how to use the Computer Aided Design (CAD) systems.
Once Karl had learnt the fundamentals at NETA, he moved onto his two-year work placement at Aker Solutions in Stockton-on-Tees. Here, Karl was able to put the skills he'd learnt into practice and was able to choose his specialist area for his placement whilst working in each of Aker's key departments: Civil, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering.
More recently, Aker has arranged for Karl to work at Bran Sands Water Treatment Plant, with Northumbrian Water. On a day-to-day basis, he helps with drawings and assists the more experienced engineers checking valves and pipe support, which he is enjoying immensely.
Karl enthuses: "I want to get as many qualifications as I can. I'm planning to go to university after I've finished my apprenticeship and study Mechanical Engineering. In the long term, I'd like to work abroad, but for now, I'm really happy at Aker.”