After years spent in industry and teaching at colleges, Sheryl Nathan decided to join the tutor team at EEF’s Technical Training Centre in Birmingham. Find out how the approach to training and skills at the centre compare with her previous workplaces.
What’s your background in engineering?
I started in the rail industry – first as an apprentice, then designing rail track systems and a signal designer. From there I got my BEng in Electronics and Electrical Engineering and went onto teach Btec Level 3 at Stafford College.
I then moved back into industry by working for National Cash Registers, working on building, loading and testing software for self-service check out machines before they were sent to stores. I also worked for a lighting company programming lights on construction sites and commercial buildings, such as the Olympic handball arena.
After a period of running my own light maintenance company, I started teaching at Stoke Studio College and Worcestershire College.
Last year I joined EEF at the tech centre.
What attracted you to EEF and the tech training centre in particular?
When I visited the centre’s workshop, I liked that it showed the training wasn’t just theoretical but was practical as well. When I did my Btec, everything was theoretical, and I didn’t understand half of it. When you get to learn it hands-on, your learning is reinforced because you can see how it applies.
Also, I could tell that the equipment was all up-to-date, and that EEF really invests in the right equipment on behalf of the students.
What’s the best part about your job?
I particularly like teaching the students that aren’t as interested in the subject at the beginning and then get them interested and achieving good results at the end of the day.
What’s different about working at the training centre compared with other places you’ve worked?
At some of the educational institutions I’ve seen, you really struggle to demonstrate things with lack of equipment they have. At EEF, if you need it, they will invest in it. They worked with me to set up the electronics lab with everything I wanted. You can be sure everything here is the same as the industry, which isn’t necessarily true at universities or colleges.
The EEF Technology Training Centre is expanding and hiring new staff across a variety of fields, including instructors and administrative staff. For more information on applying for a role at the technology training centre, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.