Meet Mathew. Mathew joined RLC as an apprentice in 2017 from the Foundation Apprenticeship in Engineering course.
I came to this apprenticeship from working in a garage previously for 6 years as a mechanic. I was looking for a new challenge and thought engineering would be a good path to follow, so decided to look into retraining!
Previously, I studied Environmental Science at University and always had an interest in the sciences.
How did you find out about the course?
I heard the apprenticeship being advertised on the radio and, since I was looking for a change from my current work, decided to go for it!
I found applying to be very straight forward, and was soon invited for interview and aptitude tests as part of the application process before starting the course.
Previous work experience:
After University I went into a garage to become a mechanic, coming to the Foundation Apprenticeship in Engineering (FAIE) course from full-time work.
How are you finding the apprenticeship course?
Engineering and manufacturing has always been of interest to me, particularly working in a similar field through mechanics. I enjoy being hands on and the practical aspects of things, and this is definitely more interesting than cars for me. I enjoy the challenge and diversity of the engineering field… I’ve discovered through the course there’s a lot more skill required, but it’s also a lot less dirty!
Before starting the apprenticeship I studied two years at college completing the National Certificate. Now I’m at RLC, I’m studying towards the Higher National Certificate as part of the two year apprenticeship. After then, I could consider further a University degree if the option is there – this was be a total of three years to finish the degree part-time alongside working.
What are your highlights of the course?
What I’ve learned through the course has been a big highlight, we’re always doing something new and there are so many different aspects to get involved with. During the summer work placements in first year, you have the opportunity to move around different companies on the Island to see the variety of manufacturing being carried out by each business for their production ranges. These placements were great as we were able to get to see all the different sections operating within each company, experiencing new machinery and processes. At the college they run you through all the basics so that you’re well prepared when you get into the companies for more experience, and get an opportunity to put what you’ve learned to good use when they offer you a job for the apprenticeship!
Have you encountered any challenges?
Time management has been key to keep on top of as part of my decision to go back into training. Trying to get back into it studying and having to work alongside the college training to continue earning an income to support my family was hard, but it was definitely worth it! It was for a relatively short period of time in perspective of the career I have ahead of me now.
What advice could you share with others in your position?
If you’re thinking about it… just go for it! Be brave.
I thought it would be too much to have to go back in order to go forwards, but decided to commit to re-training and, in all honestly, it flew by! You get used to the change and balancing your time appropriated. With a bit of hard work, it’s definitely worth it in the long run.