The challenges and rewards of an engineering apprenticeship

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Michael Badley, 22,

Maintenance Technician Apprentice, Severn Trent Water


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

Qualifications I have attained so far from the apprenticeship include Level 2 NVQ in Engineering.

Qualifications I will achieve as part of my apprenticeship include:

  • An HNC in electrical/electronic engineering
  • Level 3 NVQ in engineering
  • Trailblazer


What is typical day like for you?

Being an apprentice is both challenging and rewarding. It involves gaining valuable experience that will help me immensely going forward. Each day is different: one day could involve calibrating vital equipment, while the other could be writing PLC programs that is vital for the site up keeping. Some days I am working at Frankley Water Treatment Works, one of the largest water treatment works in the UK, supplying 1.8 million people with apprximatly 400 million litres of water per day. While at Frankley, I am surrounded by some of the most experienced instrumentation technicians in the field. In shadowing them, I gain a wealth of knowledge whether it be calibrating PH monitors, chlorine analyzers or doing routine maintenance on various assets around the site such as RGFs (Rapid Gravity Filters), DAFs (Dissolved Air Filters) or contact tanks. When I am not at Frankley, I am with the Ground Water Reservoir and Boosters team in Tettenhall, Wolverhampton. There, I am exposed to different aspects of water treatment. They deal with boreholes which in short, are deep narrow wells that tap into naturally occurring aquifers. Being with this team requires fluid thinking as most of their assets are in deep rural areas. A typical day is really fulfilling, and I feel a sense on achievement at the end of each day.


What are your top three things about being an apprentice?

1. Gain a wealth of knowledge and experience

2. Work with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds

3. Earn while you learn


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

Don’t hesitate; jump at the opportunity. The world is your oyster! It is always rewarding and satisfying; there is never a boring day.

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