National Apprenticeship Week - Industry Apprentice Council Blog Day 4
My current apprenticeship started as a two year Level 3 Apprenticeship, where I was undertaking part time study to attain my BTEC Level 3 in Electrical and Electronic Engineering alongside an NVQ Extended Diploma in Technical Support Level 3. I am now undertaking a Degree Apprenticeship in Digital and Technology Solutions (Cyber Security Pathway).
Since beginning my apprenticeship with Atkins in September 2015 I have been given numerous opportunities to travel around the country and work on a vast number of projects. These include Crossrail and HS2 alongside some smaller projects, but no matter the project I have been able to consistently improve my knowledge and responsibility from day one. In addition to my day job I have been lucky enough to get involved with the apprentice community within Atkins working with the Atkins APA Transportation Forum and outside with the Industry Apprentice Council. Both of these opportunities have been very rewarding enabling me to see the talent within industry and be a part of exciting changes and discussions regarding the future.
I believe the opportunity to study alongside my work experience has given me the best of the two opportunities. It means I can boost my technical knowledge and learn new academic skills whilst having an immersive experience in the workplace. I believe this makes for more employable individuals who, come the end of the apprenticeship, are ready to step right into a role in industry with a knowledge of the environment and the technicalities that make it work.
National Apprenticeship Week is a great time to shine the limelight on the plethora of impressive young talent the UK has within its apprentices across all industries. Quite often apprenticeships are overlooked for more 'favoured' routes, such as university, as they are perceived as being only for manual jobs, or being for those who could not get into university. I have come across these views myself since undertaking an apprenticeship and starting to make the decision at school, all I can express is my strong disagreement with these views. Yes, you can still complete apprenticeships in the manual trades but now with the rise of advanced and higher/degree apprenticeships they are fast being proven a creditable way to carve a career in a broad range of industries. I think it is important to broadcast the voice of apprentices during NAW and the companies that employ them to help dispel the myths and show apprenticeships for the brilliant opportunity they are.