Murray Coghill, Scotland's modern apprentice of the year, is the latest in a long line of Rolls-Royce apprentices who have trained at the Vulcan Naval Reactor Test Establishment (NRTE) facility in Caithness, following in the footsteps of his father who was the first Rolls-Royce apprentice in 1966.
Despite university entrance qualifications, Murray decided that a practical background was the best career path for him and saw the modern apprenticeship programme as ideal.
In his first 12 months as an apprentice, Murray gained a National Certificate and an SVQ level 2. In his second and third years, he gained greater practical skills while continuing his education to HNC level and undertaking a placement in the drawing office. His fourth year saw him successfully complete his SVQ level 3, HNC and, as a result, his modern apprenticeship.
Murray's aptitude and commitment so impressed the drawing office manager that he took up a trainee post a full eight months ahead of schedule. He finished his HND in July 2003 and was promoted to design draughtsperson.
His pass rate of 89 per cent was as high as any achieved over the years by experienced engineers. He has represented Rolls-Royce in promoting the modern apprenticeship programme at careers conventions.
As a "senior" and former apprentice, Murray has taken on the responsibility of supporting the company's younger apprentices and is building a portfolio in order to become a qualified assessor.