Meet Ryan. Ryan joined Swagelok as an apprentice in 2017 from the Foundation Apprenticeship in Engineering course.
Age: 20 yrs
I'm currently undertaking my first year of apprenticeship with Swagelok. After completing my GCSEs I went on to the college to study the Foundation Apprenticeship in Engineering Level 3 National Certificate.
In particular, I enjoyed Woodwork (Resistant Materials), sciences and maths during school. Previously, I've always held an interest in planes since I was young, particularly enjoyed playing with Airfix from an early age!
During work experience placement at school, I choose to spend my time with a mechanics to start getting an insight into the hands-on nature of engineering.
How did you hear about the course?
Careers in engineering and manufacturing professionals came into school and gave regular talks, which were interesting to find out more about the options available. In addition to this, I also found out more information through the careers event open days such as the Employment and Skills fair held each November at the Villa Marina. I took the opportunity at these open days to speak with the companies exhibiting, and their apprentices who were on the stands, who gave me some good advice about which courses to look into and what they involve.
I had the opportunity to join the new Foundation Apprenticeship in Engineering course (FAIE) course starting at the college combined with the apprenticeship scheme and ultimately chose to study Craft during my Level 3 National Certificate.
I undertook my summer placement with the big engineering and manufacturing companies on the Island – with Swagelok I really found somewhere that interested me. Swagelok’s placement gave me a good opportunity to get an insight into all the departments they have in the company, spending two days rotating around each. The summer placement also gave us all the chance to really get to know the companies and build good relationships with the teams and a stronger potential to secure a job with those who we enjoyed working with best.
The work experience covered everything, and wasn’t just limited to learning about the machinery and how it functions, providing awareness to how the wider areas of the businesses work. The Tour Room is my favourite part of Swagelok – this is where all of the manual machines are. I really enjoyed getting trained on the hands-on machines.
Studying the Higher National Certificate and working shifts can be difficult to adjust to, and required learning to balance when working twilight shifts and late finishes.
I would recommend paying attention and getting stuck into the college work, the tutors have a lot of useful guidance to provide if you’re listening!