Meet Connor. Connor joined Swagelok as an apprentice in 2017 from the Foundation Apprenticeship in Engineering course.
Age: 19 yrs
School: St Ninian’s High School
I decided after my GCSEs I wanted to leave school and go to college – I wasn’t interested in going to University – instead, I was ready to get stuck into work and start earning. The Foundation Apprenticeship in Engineering course (FAIE) was a fantastic opportunity for me to do this, receiving training alongside work for building myself a strong career path.
I’ve always had in interest in engineering, through family who also work in the field. My brother is an aerospace engineer and often told me about his line of work and what he was up to on a regular basis. When I went on work experience during school, I actually secured my placement with Swagelok, so I starting building a relationship with the people here from an early age!
I chose to study Craft at the college for the Level 3 National Certificate. This is a more practical orientated qualification compared to the technician route. Now that I’m at Swagelok, I’m continuing my studying to complete the certificate.
During the FAIE, students are required to complete summer work placements on rotation with companies on the Island. I completed placements with Triumph, RLC and Swagelok, building good relationships with them ahead of seeking full time work and securing an apprenticeship.
In March 2017 I had the opportunity to go away and attend an awards evening with Swagelok for the North West Aerospace Alliance New Talent Awards at the Imperial War Museum, Manchester. This was a great opportunity to travel, meet people from other companies and hear about what they do in their line of work, and also listen to the interesting speakers.
The course can be quite challenging at times as we are learning things that are really new to us. Keeping on-top of the work alongside working is also new to me and can be difficult at times to balance it!
When I was in school, I didn’t know what I wanted to do during school and whether to continue onto A Levels or college after GCSEs. Deciding to proactively seek out some work experience was one of the best things I can advise people if they’re not sure what they want to do, as it helped me decide what I enjoyed most and support my decision to leave school and start training through employment.