After seeking career advice and browsing training providers’ websites, Garikoitz settled on an undergraduate degree in mechanical manufacturing because it appealed to his love of design and fascination with precision engineering. It was a study path that gave him the skills he needed to step onto the career ladder soon after he graduated. Today Garikoitz is putting what he learned into practice, having landed a job as a workshop technician with Trygonal, where he engineers plastic and sealant products.
An all-round immersive experience
Garikoitz’s training introduced him to innovative ways of working and equipped him with the latest technical skills. As a mechanical designer and manufacturer, Garikoitz turns raw materials into useful products, using complex computer software to create designs. ‘The hands-on experience with computer-aided design (CAD) benefited me the most during my training,’ he says. ‘I learned how to work in a team, how to solve problems, and how to keep moving forward regardless of the difficulty of the task.’
His skills also include computer numerical control machining, which involves precisely producing parts and materials, a core function in manufacturing, alongside CAD. ‘Specialising in this technology helps me in my current role as I use CAD to design the pieces I need to manufacture,’ Garikoitz explains.
A life-long learning culture
Garikoitz’s big break happened when teachers at his training centre spotted his potential and got him an interview with recruiters at Trygonal, who hired him straight away. But his journey didn’t end there. Thanks to the company’s life-long learning culture, Garikoitz has been able to dedicate his mornings to his studies and his afternoons to his job at the workshop, enabling him to acquire a second higher education qualification in mechanical engineering without sacrificing his paycheque.
Garikoitz’s training has helped him thrive in his current role and he is extremely happy with the variety of projects he is now able to work on, saying ‘The most interesting thing about my job is the ability that I have in designing my own pieces and manufacturing them according to the needs of our customers.’
Garikoitz went on to demonstrate his mastery of his craft by winning a 2023 EuroSkills award. ‘Being recognised as a Champion of Excellence in Merchandising is a great pleasure for me,’ he says.
When asked how others can replicate his success, Garikoitz emphasises the role that choosing a vocational pathway played in his achievements:
‘I feel these types of qualifications have been so beneficial for me’ he says. ‘I think a vocational education and training can be an interesting way to start a good career… The most important thing is to study something that you are interested in.’
Garikoitz is now looking ahead to the future and wants to share his skills with up-and-coming mechanical designers. ‘I am interested in teaching others how to make things that only I know how to make,’ he says.
Learn from Garikoitz’s expertise and experience!
Garikoitz is one of many EuroSkills Champions who will be sharing their journeys to success and demonstrating their skills live at the ‘Meet the Champions of Excellence’ event on 23 February 2024.
The European Year of Skills helps people get the right skills for quality jobs and supports companies in addressing skill shortages in Europe. Interested in finding your future through work-based learning? Watch this space for our upcoming articles on other Champions of Excellence and learn more about the vocational education opportunities available to you!
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