Aaron always knew that he wanted to learn a trade and work in a practical environment. Plumbing was something he was interested in so he decided to apply for an Apprenticeship. He has been with his second employer, Flint Construction for eight months now and is enjoying the challenge of working towards becoming a qualified gas plumber.
“I’m feeling really confident in how things are progressing at Flint. I’m now at the stage when I can be given a problem and know how to solve it.”
Aaron’s ultimate dream is to move to the USA and establish his career there.
“I’ve always wanted to live and work in America and doing this Apprenticeship will give me the skills and qualifications I need to do this.”
Aaron says he would encourage anyone who would like to learn a trade and earn at the same time should opt for the Apprenticeship route, adding:
“Going into a work environment might seem a bit strange at first and take some adjusting to but it’s definitely worth it. If you work hard, the skills and qualifications you gain will set you up for life. Once I qualify as a plumber, I can go and work anywhere in the world – I’m just so glad I chose this path.”
Since leaving school, Aaron has always been interested in becoming an Electrician. He initially studied a full time Level 2 Electrical Installation course, but it was not until a few years later when he saw an advert for an Electrician’s Mate at Keen Electrics that his career path really began.
He has now been on his Apprenticeship since September, and is really enjoying the challenge of learning new skills in the classroom, as well as in the workplace.
“I feel I’m getting the best of both worlds – I am studying for qualifications which means that in 3-4 years’ time I will be a qualified electrician. I’m also working with highly skilled, experienced people who have been in the industry for some time so I am learning so much from them.”
Aaron believes that with the continued support of his employer and the College, he is on track to a successful career as an Electrician.
“An Apprenticeship is definitely the best way of gaining on the job training as well as the qualifications you need to succeed. It’s great that you can earn while you learn, and be supported by a team both at work and at BCoT. Every day brings new challenges and you always feel like you’re learning something new. I would definitely recommend the Apprenticeship route to anyone – it’s the best thing I ever did.”
Amy first came to BCoT as a full time student to study a Level 3 Diploma in Engineering. As part of her course, she spent a week on work experience at Middlesex Group and enjoyed her time so much that she applied for an Apprenticeship with them.
“I was interested in Engineering as my dad and granddad were both Engineers so I knew a bit about what was involved. When I spent a week at Middlesex Group everything just seemed to click into place. Everyone was so friendly and encouraging, and any worries I had about it being a male-dominated industry quickly went out of the window. When I heard about their Apprenticeship scheme it just seemed natural for me to apply and I’m just so glad I did.”
Amy started her Apprenticeship in September 2015 and says it has already lived up to all her expectations.
“It’s definitely a challenge, which is what I wanted. I’ve started in the Tool room along with other Apprentices and will then move onto the production CNC mills which I’m looking forward to. It’s very technical and there is a lot to learn, but I get so much support from our supervisor that I always feel I can achieve – even when it’s tough!
“I would definitely recommend an Apprenticeship to anyone who likes the hands-on approach to learning. To have the opportunity to earn, learn and gain qualifications right up to degree level if that’s where you want to go is fantastic – I know I’ve made the right choice at Middlesex Group.”
Chris started life after school studying A levels, but quickly knew this was not the right route for him to go down. He researched careers in Engineering and saw that it was a growing market which had a real shortage of skilled, qualified workers. He was also encouraged by the many career paths open to Engineers and was delighted when the BCoT for Business team put him in touch with Middlesex Group to discuss Apprenticeship opportunities.
“As soon as I chatted to Roger Rustell who runs the Apprenticeship programmes at Middlesex, I knew it was where I wanted my career to begin. I’ve now been with the company for over two years now and to say that it has exceeded all my expectations is no exaggeration. The support I have received from Roger as my mentor has been amazing. I have already learned so much and am feel like I am challenged daily.”
Chris acknowledges the company’s commitment to its Apprentices and says it results in a real sense of loyalty amongst staff.
“I feel so grateful to Middlesex for giving me this amazing platform to start my Engineering career. I can’t believe that at 19 I have a well-paid job with great career prospects and I’m able to save for my first house. I’d like to think I could go on and be educated to degree level and have no debt at the end of this – that really would be an achievement.”
After successfully completing his Apprenticeship at BCoT, Lewis Cooper has started a great new job.
Lewis took up his new role as Administration Manager at Ocean Interiors last summer and says he has BCoT to thank for it. His career journey began as an Admin’ Apprentice in BCoT’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) department October 2012 after he decided the traditional A level route was not for him.
His new role provides many new challenges for Lewis, which he really enjoys. These include:
“Moving to Ocean Interiors was a big step for me and I looked forward to the challenge. I did feel very prepared for the job and I don’t think I would have done if it wasn’t for the fantastic training I had as part of my Apprenticeship at BCoT.”
After such a positive experience, Lewis says he would highly recommend the Apprenticeship route to young people.
“Doing an Apprenticeship is a great opportunity to learn on the job and gain new skills which prepare you for your future. I know it can be daunting but it really isn’t - don’t let that push you away. It’s also great that you get paid for doing a job you want to do so you can’t go wrong.”