Lloyd Swale, 24, is currently studying an Advanced Apprenticeship in Electrical Installation at T-T Pumps in Crewe.
Q. Why did you choose an apprenticeship?
A. I chose an apprenticeship because I really wanted to get into the Engineering industry – I always knew I wanted to work in engineering from a young age. The apprenticeship route seemed a great option for me, because I wasn’t going to incur hefty tuition fees by going straight into university and I got to earn a wage alongside studying.
Q. What does your typical day in the workplace include?
A. A typical day in the workplace usually includes arriving at work for 9am, reading and responding to emails from colleagues and clients before getting straight into CAD, which is my day-to-day job. Today for example, I’ve taken a client’s specifications for a control panel they want building and I incorporate that into an electrical schematic using AutoCAD software. I occasionally have to call the client and liaise with them directly if the team have any queries or concerns about building the control panel. I really enjoy it, no two days are the same and I’m constantly meeting new people which makes the role really varied.
Q. What skills have you developed during your apprenticeship?
A. I’ve definitely developed my time management skills which are crucial in my role. If I’m late on briefing the workshop guys on a particular build, it can throw their whole day out. My communication skills have also developed massively because I’m constantly speaking with colleagues, suppliers and customers. The main skill I’ve developed are my technical skills, including understanding electrical components and using AutoCAD Software, which are crucial skills employers are looking for in the Electrical Engineering industry.
Q. What is your college/work life balance like?
A. On a weekly basis, I’m in the workplace four days a week and spend one day at college. I complete my college work on that one day and during week day evenings meaning that I have the weekends free to spend time with family and friends. Balancing work and my college qualification this way really works for me.
Q. How did you choose which apprenticeship programme to study?
A. I did lots of research into the various employers the College works with within the Engineering industry and T-T Pumps really stood out to me as a great employer. I decided to choose the Electrical Engineering route because of my uncle who works in the industry. He’s done really well for himself and really enjoys his career and always told me it’s a great feeling to be happy in the workplace, so I decided to follow in his footsteps.
Q. How did you feel when you were offered the work placement at T-T Pumps?
A. I was a bit speechless at first but was extremely happy and proud of myself. Gaining this placement was the start of my new career and allowed me to get my foot in the door of an exciting industry and innovative employer. T-T Pumps provide lots of benefits to staff and like investing in apprentices like myself and provide them with great opportunities.
Q. What support do you receive from your assessor?
A. I receive lots of support from my assessor. We regularly discuss the progress of my coursework and they are there to provide any support I need or answer any queries I have. I didn’t really enjoy essay writing or coursework at school, but with the help of my assessor my confidence has grown massively and my writing skills have improved.
Q. What would you say to somebody thinking about studying an apprenticeship?
A. Do it! You get really valuable work experience and the opportunity to have different people teaching you things every day. The workplace is definitely the best place to be if you want to get hands-on experience. You get to earn and learn at the same time and get experiences that you wouldn’t get in the classroom.