Home / News / First Class Degree Engineer returns to Burnley College to Inspire Apprentices Ahead of Final Assessments

First Class Degree Engineer returns to Burnley College to Inspire Apprentices Ahead of Final Assessments

An experienced engineer who graduated with distinction has returned to Burnley College to inspire Apprentices ahead of their final assessments.

Scott Bentley explained to Apprentices how, instead of seeing their End Point Assessment (EPA) as a ‘final test’, they should see them as an opportunity to shine and express your passion for your subject.

Scott, a Maintenance Engineer with VEKA PLC, the leading supplier of UPVC in the world, also shared his tips for career success.

Scott read a B(Eng) Engineering at Burnley College University Courses as a Degree Apprentice with Themis.

He says despite the clues, he never really saw engineering in his future:


As a kid I was always taking everything apart—much to my parents’ dismay. I’d even experiment with Scalextric cars, touching the wires with my tongue and getting a shock – which I don’t recommend anyone should ever do!

Scott Bentley

BCUC Alumnus

“Strangely, I’d always wanted to be an astronomer. I pursued A-levels in Physics, Chemistry, Maths and Mechanical Maths with that goal in mind. However, when I started exploring universities and the actual work involved in astronomy, I realised it wasn’t for me. It was all spreadsheets instead of telescopes. That’s when I began looking into other passions of mine.

“One day, I heard an ad on the radio and it wasn’t saying ‘Become an engineer!’ but instead ‘Are you always taking things apart and trying to understand how to make them better. It suddenly clicked for me. Plus I come from a background of trades. My grandfather had a lathe in the back room and my father was a joiner, it felt right to pursue something hands-on.”

Now he works at a world leading company, renowned for their expertise in manufacturing plastics:

“At Veka, I’m a Maintenance Engineer involved in commissioning and decommissioning extrusion equipment. We work with UPVC, producing plastic window frames and garden furniture, even materials for equestrian purposes like horse racing fences. It’s incredibly intricate work.

“The Design for Manufacturing B Eng Degree Apprenticeship at BCUC was challenging due to the volume of work, but it was exactly what I needed. I learn best by doing, by breaking things apart and understanding them from the inside out. The apprenticeship allowed me to do just that, bridging theory with practical application seamlessly.”

As learners approach the end of their apprenticeship they face an End Point Assessment. This is to test they are competent in their occupation and includes two stages; a 50 minute presentation and then a 90 minute professional discussion. The discussion involves a question and answer session with trainer assessors and other professionals.

To many apprentices who are used to on-the-job assessments or exams, it can be a very daunting experience.

Scott wanted to come in to reassure our current Apprentices, it’s not something to fear:


You spend years preparing, but with your EPA it can feel like it boils down to a half-day of presenting and discussing your work—and it can be terrifying.
However, Burnley College University Courses prepared me incredibly well. The assessors are there to help you succeed, not trip you up.

Scott Bentley

BCUC Alumnus

And what’s next for Scott?

“I’m looking to become a Chartered Engineer. I’ve been considering that or pursuing a master’s degree, but I lean towards the more vocational route – being a ‘doer.’

“Plus, staying with Veka is a priority. They value skilled engineers, and I see a long future here with them.”

Would you like to discover how you can start a successful career in your chosen sector through an Apprenticeship? Would you like to get individualised support and advice from people who are living the career you’ve always dreamed of?

We have Apprenticeship vacancies open right now in fields from Engineering through to Business Management and more, as well as those starting this summer or autumn. For more information, call 01282 733005 or visit www.burnley.ac.uk/themis