If I were going to give any advice to someone looking for an apprenticeship, it would be to ‘be yourself’. Try to be confident, engage in conversation and get your name out there, make them remember you! That’s what I did to get my apprenticeship with Portakabin. Although I did apply to a local College for an engineering course, I knew I wanted to do an apprenticeship. I must have given Portakabin my CV about 5 times at different Apprenticeship shows, sent them emails and Derwent Training also contacted them for me! They had to listen to me, but persistence paid off – clearly I was destined for this apprenticeship!
I had no idea what I wanted to do when I left school. I’ve always been very practical, I like working on things, I didn’t want to stay sitting around in a classroom for another 2 years, so as soon as I saw the opportunity, I took it and started looking at apprenticeships after I left school. I’m now working, learning and getting paid! Out of all the apprenticeships out there, I chose this one, and I’m glad that I did. The people I’m working with, the training I’m getting and the location are fantastic!
Getting into such a large corporate company straight from school was a big achievement for me. I’m going to have the same qualifications as If I went to college, as well as 4 years experience in a multinational company. As well as having lots of savings and time to do the things I like, like playing rugby on the weekends. The apprenticeship that I’m doing is going to last about 4 years, at the moment I’m getting both a level 2 and a level 3 qualification. I’m hoping at the end of my apprenticeship that my employer will be happy for me to continue to level 4 and do a HNC and then a HND – this is the equivalent to a degree level so it would be great.
I am getting so much from my apprenticeship, it is broadening my horizons more each day. Every 3 months where I’m working in the factory changes, so I’m getting more experience of the different parts of the company. I’ve had 7 or 8 different roles so far, from CAD design in the office, being on the workshop floor as well as being with technical support. At the moment, I am on the final fix section of the process line, where the final bits are added to the Portakabin such as Doors to the cabins. I’m responsible for making it look presentable, as everything that I am currently working on will be seen by the customer…The level of responsibility I have is very high, especially today. I started working in this area about 2 months ago, the first 2 weeks I was shown the ropes and was then given free roam, which for me is the best practice. Today, one of the more experienced guys is on holiday and so I’m doing it all – no pressure!
It’s difficult to say what the main benefits of my training are, I can’t pick any fault in it… I really enjoy going to different events and making connections and networking with other business leaders in the industry. I’ve made a lot of friends through my apprenticeship. When I’m in the office, I also emailed lots of different people so I was getting my name out there – broadening my horizons! In the future, I’m hoping that I’ll be moved into the office and get the opportunity to do more CAD design and specialise in that area. Because not only have I got experience in CAD design I also have worked with the materials so I know physical limitations.
I learn so much at Derwent Training that we don’t do at Portakabin, but it’s still so interesting to learn about. It’s definitely adding strings to my bow, even if Portakabin don’t keep me on at the end of my apprenticeship it’ll be easy to show prospective employers what I can offer them. As I went into my apprenticeship straight from school, the working environment was so different, but with the first 3 – 4 months that I started at Derwent the tutors worked on a 1:1 basis to build up my confidence. Now I’m in the swing of things I know what I’m doing – the tutors are really good.
I wouldn’t change my apprenticeship for the world…Start your Apprenticeship Journey!