First Class Ethan celebrates a sensational double

It has been quite the summer for a former star apprentice, who secured a First Class Honours Degree and a promotion at Komatsu UK Ltd, one of the region’s best known manufacturers.

Ethan Iveson, 26, secured the role of Production Engineer in the plant’s Production Engineering department, just weeks after completing his four-year part-time degree course in Mechanical Engineering at Northumbria University.

It is the latest step for the former Assistant Engineer, who impressed Komatsu management during his three-year apprenticeship, and was subsequently appointed as a Trainee Engineer with the opportunity for the company to fund his university degree.

Ethan, of Gateshead, excelled in the degree, studying on day release for the past four years and completing his dissertation during the initial stages of the COVID19 lockdown.

“Securing the First Class degree was fantastic after so much hard work, but it was made even better when my line manager confirmed that I had now successfully completed my training programme and was to be appointed to the position of Production Engineer ” said Ethan.

“You give up a lot of your time on evenings and weekends to study for the degree, but it is 100% worth it. To be given the opportunity to study for a degree and come out of the other end with zero debt is incredible and I’m very grateful to Komatsu for giving me that chance.

“I had received some offers from universities when I was in sixth form, but I wanted to start earning and take that first step on the career ladder. When I heard about Komatsu’s apprenticeship scheme I jumped at the chance and was lucky enough to secure a place.  I’ve never looked back.”

As well as completing a three-year apprenticeship course, provided by TDR, Ethan has secured a number of qualifications, including NEBOSH Health & Safety and a Heidenhain CNC programming course, his BTEC Level 3, HNC and a number of other practical credentials for the machines he works on.

“The Komatsu Way is focused on continuous improvement and that’s not just for our products and processes, it’s embedded in every element of the business, including Employee Development,” added Ethan.

“There are always opportunities here and if you’re ready to push yourself and improve,  Komatsu will support you.”

Tracey Bowman, Director of HR and Corporate Affairs at Komatsu, said the firm’s proactive apprenticeship scheme helped them attract high-quality recruits like Ethan, but his success at the firm has been down to his own hard work.

She said: “Ethan is an incredibly focused and enthusiastic person and has always demonstrated a real desire to develop himself and take on fresh challenges. I’m delighted that his hard work and perseverance has paid off and he has the First Class degree his efforts have deserved. 

“Working and studying at the same time can be incredibly hard work, but, like our other graduates did before, Ethan rose to the challenge admirably and I hope his success serves as inspiration to others interested in further developing their skills and knowledge.”