As we celebrate Welsh Government Apprenticeship Week 2022, we learn of how Level 3 Mechanical Engineering student Hywel Jackson was able to realise a dream of working in Formula 1.
Former Pembrokeshire College Level 3 Mechanical Engineering student Hywel secured a sought-after apprenticeship with Mercedes F1 in 2019. Hywel fought off tough competition to secure the three-year apprenticeship with Mercedes F1 AMG High-Performance Powertrains at the company’s Research and Development Centre in Brixworth.
Mercedes F1 Apprenticeships are accredited by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers and are available in manufacturing, test, assembly and build. The apprenticeship programme provides the perfect starting line for a career in the motoring world giving apprentices the opportunity to enhance the performance of the Mercedes-AMG World Championship winning Hybrid Power Unit.
A keen and talented engineer, Hywel was one of over one hundred applicants to apply for a place with the Mercedes F1 team. During the intensive interview process, Hywel was required to take part in a team building exercise which involved getting an explosive device out of danger and giving a presentation on his end of year project - a controlled racing module involving a self-propelled sailing buoy designed for one operator to control three markers from land for boat races. Hywel was one of just two applicants to be offered an apprenticeship starting in September.
Following the offer of a place with Mercedes F1, Hywel expressed how pleased he was about securing the apprenticeship of his dreams:
“I feel fortunate to have been given this opportunity to work for Mercedes F1. I am proud that my efforts have paid off. I’m grateful to all the engineering staff for the guidance and assistance that they have given me over the past two years. What I have learned in college and in the industry will aid me in reaching my goal of becoming a F1 race technician after finishing the three-year apprenticeship.”
Pembrokeshire College Engineering lecturer Will Bateman commented on how proud he was of Hywel who has also recently finished restoring a 1973 Volkswagen Beetle:
“Since day one it was evident that Hywel was an outstanding learner. His organisation and commitment to accuracy are impeccable. During his first year, Hywel was offered an incredible six apprenticeships; he is testament to believing in the dream and reaching that end goal. We are so proud of Hywel and wish him every success for the future.”
Hywel has recently found out that that he will be doing 12 races as trackside technician for this coming season of F1. Travelling around with the team he will be an engine technician for McLaren as Mercedes provide the engines. He’ll be doing this whilst in the third year of his apprenticeship.