The freedom of an apprenticeship | EEF

The freedom of an apprenticeship

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William Heath, 20, Electrical/Instrumentation Technician, Severn Trent Water

What qualification have you or will you achieve as part of your apprenticeship?

  • Btec Level 3
  • Nvq Level 2 and Level 3- Electrical Engineering


What is typical day like for you?

There are no two days the same. I carry out the electrical and Instrumentation maintenance on all of our assets in the Lichfield/Tamworth area. The maintenance that I carry out covers all basics including preventative maintenance all the way to major reactive maintenance on pumping stations in response to customer issues. A key skill to have in my role is to be able to think clearly, coming up with innovative solutions to overcome the problems I face.

Fault finding is a massive part of my job. They can be the simplest of faults like fuses being taken all the way to more involving faults such as interruptions in the three-phase power supply.

This would require you to get in touch with local power distributors and come up with temporary power solutions if it is vital for that site and what arrangements would need to be made.

The job responsibility as an apprentice goes beyond the maintenance side of things. They include finding solutions to other issues on our sites like energy usage, trying to make the sites run more efficiently.

I have been involved in inducting the new intake of apprentices this year, which included me running a group for a week, helping them to be inducted into the company making sure they imbed the Severn Trent behaviours, get to know one another and develop team building skills, all of which I have thoroughly enjoyed.


What are your top three things about being an apprentice?

  1. The freedom that an apprenticeship gives you comees from giving you the ability to learn from a wide variety of angles from different areas of the company. This gives you opportunity to decide where to take your future career.
  2. The combination of learning while you work. It enables you to apply the skills you have learned from a college to a working environment. It gives you a good template to get into the role you have chosen.
  3. Opportunity you get: As an apprentice I have been given opportunities above the job role. Whether it be helping to promote the apprenticeship programme, induct the new apprentices or take on projects with other teams across the business such as energy teams and ICA crews to solve issues. 

What advice would you give to someone looking start a career in engineering?

I would say to anyone showing an interest in engineering, take every opportunity that is given to you. This could mean taking a course not specific to your job role, as even this will help broaden your range of knowledge. Also whilst you’re learning about the job, make sure you show that you are interested as people on sites take time out their day to teach apprentices the skills they need and if you show you are interested you are more likely to benefit.

Whilst you have the opportunity of doing an apprenticeship in engineering it is key to be able to network across the business as this would help you in the future if you need help on certain jobs of certain departments, you will have contacts.

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