Breaking the mould with an apprenticeship
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These days, a child’s life is often mapped out for them before they’ve even taken their first breath and a lot of these future plans end in university. But what happens if you choose to break this mould?
I happened to be the child that didn’t learn when plonked in front of a textbook or through theoretical analogies. But, being naturally mathematical and methodical I found myself looking to engineering as a career goal. When sixth form was forced onto me I found myself stuck studying subjects that wouldn’t and couldn’t play a part in my plans. This realisation encouraged me to look at what else was out there and studying at college made me realise the benefits an apprenticeship could bring to my career prospects. Without having to face the daunting commitment of large student loans, debts and the stress of the university application process, I came across Thales which was offering the same level of education but with the added benefit of being able to practically apply what I would learn.
In the months I have been with Thales, I have already been able to work alongside professionals within a highly skilled industry. I have seen the hidden side of the underground and the many people and companies it takes to keep it together. I have been offered the opportunity to play my part in this by testing radio quality and even connecting phone lines.
To support me to progress with my training, I have been provided with a support system at the company. This system means I have all the correct certifications to enable me to be of value when on placement and also to protect my interests as I develop in the roles I am placed in. My qualification at the end of my apprenticeship will be Level 3 Rail Technician.
What would I advise other young people thinking about an apprenticeship? Before deciding on any job role or career path it’s important to look into exactly what you would be undertaking. With an apprenticeship, although it is opportunity to further your education, it is also an entry into the world of work. With the available support provided you receive the knowledge necessary within a practical environment creating a seam free transition into industry.
I believe the government could encourage more people into apprenticeships by providing more information about them, allowing young people to weigh up the decision with the facts. At school it sometimes feels like a taboo to talk about straying from the traditional path to university, but university isn’t for everyone. Apprenticeships bring so many benefits - not only being able to learn from experts in their trade, but by gaining hands on experience too.
To find out more about apprenticeships, visit Skills London on 24&25 November 2017 at ExCel, London. Please click here if you are an employer or training provider and would like to exhibit at Skills London.