Derby College Role Model

Ashley Peppiatt

Ashley Peppiatt

Restoring motorbike puts welder Ashley on road to new career

Welding apprentice Ashley Peppiatt always knew he liked making things but didn’t appreciate just how much until he spent time restoring his motorbike.
 
 
At the time Ashley was a self-employed graphic designer, but working outside and being hands-on, made him re-think his future.
 
 
Now 29, he is one of five former Derby College level 3 welding students selected for a national welding apprenticeship with leading power engineering systems business Doosan Babcock.
 
 
He said: “I was fed up with being stuck in front of a computer all day and wanted to do something more hands-on.  Around that time, I got a motorbike – a Honda CG 125 – which kept breaking down. Me and my dad, who is a plater, got to work on repairing it and while doing that I got to know every single inch of the bike. I found I was loving using my hands and getting to grips with using different tools.”
 
 
Through a local apprenticeship, Ashley joined the level 2 engineering course at Derby College but moved on to level 3 welding after learning it could open doors to training with a top national firm.
 
 
He said: “I love my Doosan apprenticeship. The best part about it is that I’m learning a skill. It makes me feel useful, and it’s something I’ll have that will always be in demand. I don’t mind living away from home and I’m pleased to be earning money while also gaining great experience. High integrity welders can command decent money too. While we’re still training in the welding school, we’re paid apprentice rates, but according to the second-year apprentices, that will change when we go out on site. When we get to that point, we’ll be earning nearly as much as the experienced welders.”
 
 
Ashley, who wants to work on-site at a nuclear power station, said he’s grateful to his Derby College tutors for their support and glad that he decided to specialise and switch to level 3 welding.

I love my Doosan apprenticeship. The best part about it is that I’m learning a skill. It makes me feel useful, and it’s something I’ll have that will always be in demand. I don’t mind living away from home and I’m pleased to be earning money while also gaining great experience. High integrity welders can command decent money too. While we’re still training in the welding school, we’re paid apprentice rates, but according to the second-year apprentices, that will change when we go out on site. When we get to that point, we’ll be earning nearly as much as the experienced welders.

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