Age: 20 years
School: Castle Rushen High School
Before going to college to study the Foundation Apprenticeship in Engineering course (FAIE), I completed the first year of A Levels, leaving with my AS grades. For me, I was most interested in maths and biology during school – I particularly enjoyed the sciences and these were the subjects I excelled in.
Although I enjoyed building things as a kid, I didn’t expect to follow engineering as a career initially. However, after deciding to leave school during my AS levels, researched into options and fields to work in. This was when I realised that the college course would be something that I would enjoy and put me in good stead for a career suiting my skills.
I’m currently at the end of my first year on the apprenticeship scheme within Swagelok, with one year left before qualifying. My initial two years were at the college, doing National Certificate. I’m now undertaking Higher National Certificate alongside the apprenticeship.
How did you find out about the course?
David Hester, the MD at Swagelok, is a family friend and he encouraged me to pursue a career in engineering and manufacturing - I’m not sure he realised I might end up with Swagelok at the end of my training! I also researched more about the course to find out more information through the Isle of Man Newspapers and at the college. Careers fairs and Open Days were a great opportunity to get to speak to people already training and in the roles to find out their experiences and the best route into the industry.
Previous work experience:
I have quite a broad background before I came to engineering, exploring a variety of opportunities part-time whilst a school; care home, cleaners, pharmacy, funeral home, gardening
How are you finding the apprenticeship course?
I appreciated the change of culture that happens once you go to college, compared to the rigidity school, offering a more relaxed environment. You get to know your tutors well and they are really supportive throughout. In the new work environment at Swagelok, I’m still accompanied by a few of my course mates from college. This has really helped to strengthen our teamwork which we had built in the college environment.
Highlights of the course?
Getting my job at Swagelok has been a highlight achievement for me! After the initial two years of studying at the college, we were required to apply for the opportunity to undertake apprenticeship placements. These placements were limited, making it competitive and also very important to make sure we'd impressed the companies up until now, during our interactions with them throughout our college training. It was a very ‘real world’ recruitment experience and I was delighted to have built enough of a relationship with Swagelok to be offered the placement I’m now in.