A Journey into being a Hercules Apprentice

Marcus Coombes: My Time at Hercules Engineering

I am Marcus Coombes, and I’m currently an apprentice machinist for Hercules. I have been at Hercules since September 2019, and I have recently completed my apprenticeship and achieved a level 3 diploma in advanced manufacturing and engineering as a conventional machinist. This was graded as a distinction overall and consolidated with an EAL interview. I have thoroughly enjoyed my apprenticeship. I found it a great way to learn a trade and observe the ins and outs of engineering whilst working alongside experienced professionals. Within the past 4 years, I have worked hands-on with real-world projects, gaining practical skills to apply in my future career.

Throughout my time at Hercules, I have acquired a wide range of skills, including manual lathe and milling work, CNC machining, assembly, and computer-aided design (CAD). These skills all started with shadowing colleagues and developed into independent working. Each of these jobs require a different set of knowledge and skills to complete tasks efficiently. I enjoy all these jobs, but I am particularly interested in CAD. My knowledge and skill levels are constantly increasing day by day at as I am always finding new ways to complete tasks quicker.

At the end of my apprenticeship, I received a runner-up award for apprentice of the year, which I was incredibly grateful to be nominated for as well as truly thankful for the support I received from my co-workers. They have been an incredible source of inspiration and motivation, and I have learned so much from them through the years.


My future with Hercules has been recently negotiated and I will be partaking in a 5-year degree level apprenticeship in product design and development at South Devon College. This is a day release course which means I will be working at Hercules for 4 days of the week and attending the college for 1. Within the future I intend on improving my knowledge of the company and I would like to slowly develop into a higher role, taking on more responsibility. I am really looking forward to my future career with Hercules and I recommend the apprenticeship pathway to anyone looking for a career in a particular trade.

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