16-year-old UTC Engineering graduate, Solomon Maragh, becomes the first person to represent Jamaica in one of the most spectacular watersports
Our graduate, Solomon Maragh, studied Engineering at the UTC, and went on to secure a sought-after Apprenticeship, as well as compete in the Canoe Slalom Junior World Championships.
Why did you join the UTC?
With it being a technical college, you can use the machines and you come out with a great qualification. The UTC sets you apart from other schools and it provides you with industry knowledge, which is what employers look for.
What do you enjoy about Engineering?
I like seeing products go from raw materials to the finished design, as it’s good to be involved in the whole process.
Did you get involved with any employers at the UTC?
UTC provided us with a week’s work experience at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), where I learnt about CAD and bench-fitting. After this I had to source my own placement, so I ended up gaining work experience at Casting Technology International, who do titanium castings for Rolls-Royce Aerospace. These experiences have given me a flying start to my Machining Apprenticeship, which covers much of the UTC level 2 content in the first two years before moving onto the final two years of level 3 study.
Can you tell us about the Canoe Slalom Junior World Championships
My dad has always done kayaking, so he got me into it. I’ve been doing it for four years now. I get coaching at the National Water sports Centre in Nottingham. I recently came back from the World Championships in Slovenia, which was a fantastic experience. This involved two runs in the canoe and extreme slaloms. Despite limited training, due to having to quarantine in Slovenia, I qualified for the knockout heats and finished third out of four. With it being my first international race, I didn’t know what to expect from it, but once I got onto the start line, I felt more confident and really enjoyed it.
What are you doing now?
I’m currently on a four-year Machining Apprenticeship at OSL Cutting Technology, where I’m earning whilst learning. I like being involved in all the areas within the business and discovering more about specialist drills. I was accepted to study an Apprenticeship at both the AMRC and Sheffield College. OSL offered me a place before they had finished interviewing, which was a massive achievement in the first COVID year, as companies were reducing numbers of apprentices and furloughing staff. In terms of careers, when I finish my Apprenticeship I’m keeping my options open, but I do really enjoy this industry and I’m excited for my future.
Do you have any advice for students who are considering joining the UTC?
If you enjoy being hands-on with Engineering, then the UTC is the place for you. They push you out of your comfort zone, as they want you to get the best grade and reach your potential. The UTC isn’t just about grades, it’s about gaining transferable skills and knowledge that set you up for industry.
Dean Maragh, Father, commented: “Solomon learns by doing in both slalom and engineering. His attitude to learning has been nurtured at the UTC with more emphasis on learning in the workshop, rather than sat at a desk. There are enough machines for the students and combined with staff who possess a depth of real-world industry experience, UTC has given Solomon a really solid foundation into engineering as he progresses on his four-year, level three apprenticeship.”
He added: “The UTC break the mould with level 2 education, all parents need to take a close look at the UTC and all it has to offer before making a final decision about their child’s education.”
You can read more about the Canoe Slalom Junior World Championships here: