Meet Veselin. Veselin joined Triump as an apprentice in 2017 from the Foundation Apprenticeship in Engineering course.
Originally from Bulgaria, I completed High School and University there, studying 4 years at University of Engineering, focused on automated engineering which combines mechanical and electrical in one.
After graduating, I moved to the Isle of Man. Once I was over here I was looking for relevant work in the engineering field and in that time I came across the opportunity for this course and apprenticeship route. It was in the Job Centre I found out about it and their career advisors were able to tell me about what it involved.
At the time, I wasn’t sure if it would be a step backwards as I already held a degree, however, I was encouraged to go for it and see what I thought as it was a good way to build on my current experience and knowledge, and start getting involved with the Island’s companies.
At the AMTC training centre I completed the National Certificate for the 2 years through the college, and am now continuing through the Higher National Certificate with Triumph alongside the apprenticeship. For some of it there has been a bit of overlap in learning, but for the most part it’s been building on what I’ve already studied. For example, I knew about the electrical Properties of materials and components but have since learned a lot about the mechanical aspect of materials - that has been really insightful and supporting what I’m doing now at Triumph.
It’s been beneficial going back into college for my pathway to where I am now – although it overlapped a lot on the academic side of things, I’ve learned a lot on the practical aspects. The course at the AMTC centre is much more concentrated on the hands-on learning and equipped us to go straight into working in the manufacturing floors – when some may have knowledge of these processes, we were ready to carry them out. I can see that we’re all definitely more equipped having been at the AMTC, we can now step into jobs and finish off through the apprenticeship having the skills these businesses are looking for to start straight on the machines and into work. Having studied academically at University, I personally think this is better than the main college course which focuses primarily on academics means essentially you have to train again once in a place of work on the practical side of things.
What have you enjoyed about the course so far?
I really enjoy working in the tool room here at Triumph – it’s quite challenging and you’re always doing something new. They have you solving problems all the time - you’re not just making the same thing over again for years, you get to get involved in different projects and there’s variety. I also enjoyed the training centre; it was well organised and if you weren’t happy with anything, there was always someone to help out. The Centre would be open to taking feedback on the course and what we think is useful for us to learn and get the most out of the course, and consider where they can adapt the lessons.
This two-way communication has been the same at Triumph – if we speak to someone in the management team they’re always very helpful to make sure that you’re happy and enjoying the work we’re doing, and getting the most out of the apprenticeship.
Have you experienced any challenges?
Balancing time has been the key challenge which I had to keep on top of. Whilst at college, I had to make sure that I made time for doing the coursework as I was also working outside of college to keep earning, alongside making sure that I was putting in my best effort to make sure everything went well ahead of applying for this apprenticeship placement.
It might be difficult to consider going back into training – but it’s definitely worth it for the end goal. I would advise making sure you put your all into the course, and make a good impression; go in on time, do the work you need to do and try hard – you’re being monitored over these 2 years on the course and the engineering companies you come into contact with will be paying attention to who they might offer a job to at the end of it. If you don’t put in the effort and always turning up late they will notice!
If you put more effort in during the time in college you have a higher chance of attracting opportunities with the other companies – I was the only one who got an offer from all three big companies as I worked very hard and they will have taken that on board!
You don’t have to worry about age on the course – there are people of all ages studying. Prove you can do it too, even if you’re starting again with training. Sometimes you need to work around your studies to keep earning when you’re older and have more responsibilities, but it’s worth it.