Tom, RLC

Meet Tom. Tom joined RLC as an apprentice in 2017 from the Foundation Apprenticeship in Engineering course.

Tom, RLC

Age: 18

School: St Ninian’s High School


In school I enjoyed RE and PE the most, alongside History, Business Studies, and also really enjoyed the Sciences.

I’ve always been practical and hands on – and always enjoyed the practical experiments in science lessons at school the most. Initially I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do so I went to the Open Day at the college and spoke with students there – it was useful to be able to speak with people who are already on the course to see their experiences and what they studied to get there and it seemed like it was well suited to me.

Previous work experience:

During the summer of our first year of college we undertook work experience placements with companies around the Island. I went to Swagelok, Triumph and RLC and this definitely a good idea – being able to go to a number of companies and understand what it’s like to work in these industries, these placements gave me a good idea of where I wanted to aspire to work and fields to pursue/specialise in.

How are you finding the apprenticeship course?

I went through two years of college doing the City and Guilds Level 3 (Craft) course before now starting in my first year of apprenticeship. It’s been very insightful so far, each day can be different and looking forward to the new challenges ahead as I continue with the apprenticeship training at RLC.

What are your highlights of the course so far?

I thought the work experience was great. We actually got paid for the placements we completed and found it really worthwhile getting to know the different companies and building on experience, being able to apply what I had learned at college in the working environment.

Have there been any challenges?

Starting full-time work and getting used to the shift patterns has taken time from the difference of the college and school environment. In addition to the full-time work, balancing your new job alongside college study for the apprenticeship is hard work but worth it!

Have you any advice to offer?

I would recommend to definitely go to the careers events and open days to find out as much as you can. I found speaking to current students and course tutors was very insightful to what the course will be like and what you can aim to get out of it. Particularly finding out what you need to do to get on to the course, and the career path options available as a result of completing it!  

When studying at the college make sure you do your best, working the best you can to keep on top of the assignments and making a good impression - as that’ll be what gets you your job at the end of the course! Also, always keep working and learning so you’re on top and still have knowledge fresh in your mind for when you start work (if you have a break over the summers it’ll take time to pick it up again!).