What does an Apprentice Engineer do?
As an Apprentice Engineer I began my training with a block release to Reaseheath College in Cheshire; I spent 19 weeks there before I arrived at my site in Tadcaster. During the 19 weeks I covered a large number of topics from milling and machining to plc programming. Once I had arrived at site I continued my learning with on the job experience, assisting Engineers with tasks. Working with experienced Engineers allowed me to build on the basics I had learnt at college. As well as the hands on work I also have college work to complete; this included log books and knowledge checks.
Describe your job in 20-25 words.
Every day is different, you will face different challenges and learn from them to build your knowledge and experience in engineering.
Give a description of a day in the life of an Apprentice Engineer.
Firstly, I arrive at work around 6:50am to start at 7:00am. I begin with finding out how the plant has run over the last 24 hours and see if there has been any breakdowns. Each week has a maintenance plan, each day I have work designated for me to do. Once I have checked the plan to find out what I will be doing on that day, I check my emails. Every morning there is an engineering meeting, in this we discuss if we have completed work specified on the plan for the previous day. Throughout the day I will complete the designated task for myself and then will assist an engineer with any additional work.
How did you end up in this job?
When I first found out about the vacancy for an Apprentice at Heineken I was studying for my A-levels. I was at Sixth Form College studying Maths, Biology, Geography and Physics. I started to look at other carrier paths as I didn’t want to go to university. I began looking at apprenticeships but I was unsure of what career path I would like to take. I found the Heineken vacancy online and I met all the requirements needed. I completed my CV and covering letter and applied. I went through the online interview stage and was invited for a face to face interview. I found out I had the job the following week.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of pursuing this career?
If you are looking at pursuing a career in Engineering, an Apprenticeship is a brilliant place to begin the journey. You are able to gain hands on experience whilst getting paid to do so! Your training cost are covered and you will gain nationally recognised qualification to a trade. You also have the opportunity work your way into different areas of Engineering and to gain higher level qualifications funded by the company.
What’s the best thing about your job?
To me the best thing about my job is gaining experience and learning new things whilst being paid. Experience is something that companies look for when recruiting and an apprenticeship gives you the experience needed to put yourself one step ahead of other candidates for a job.
How long have you been doing your job?
I am currently in my second year of my apprenticeship. I have completed my first block release to college in this time and worked in a department for 7 months since returning from college. I have just recently moved departments, this is it help me gain knowledge of the entire site and for me to experience different equipment and situations.
Has your salary changed since then – if not do you see salary progression?
Each year of my apprenticeship my wage will increase by a percentage, additionally I will receive a bonus depending on my performance and the company’s success.
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
In five years’ time I would like to have a nationally recognised qualification and be in full time employment in a job which the skills I will have acquired during my apprenticeship are put to practice.
If you could give your 16 year old self some career advice, what would it be?
It would be to look at career options other than going to university; look for an apprenticeship which will provide good training and what you will gain lots of experience from.
Did you buy something special with your first pay cheque?
With my first pay cheque I didn’t spend much, I was saving to buy my first car for when I had finished my first block at college.