Tom Mitchell is currently studying an apprenticeship in Engineering at Capula in Stone, Staffordshire.
Q. Why did you choose an apprenticeship?
A. I’ve always loved the idea of working in Engineering, but I didn’t like the idea of taking out student loans to study at university full-time for three or more years. I chose an apprenticeship because it’s another way of getting into the industry I wanted to work in and, luckily for me, I managed to find an employer who were looking for an Engineering Apprentice and were willing to pay for me to attend university part-time. Happy days!
Q. What does your typical day in the workplace include?
A. I usually arrive at around 8am where I will start the day by pulling out the technical drawings to see what work needs to be completed. Today for example, I made a start by reviewing a wiring diagram of the physical connections and physical layout of an electrical circuit. It shows how the electrical wires are interconnected and can also show where fixtures and components may be connected to the system which I will be starting to build. No two days are the same at Capula which makes the job role really diverse.
Q. What skills have you developed during your apprenticeship?
A. I’ve developed loads of skills since starting my apprenticeship. When you’re at school you’re used to working alone but, as part of my role at Capula, I’m often working on projects as part of a team – so I’ve had to develop my communication and time management skills. I’ve also had to learn how to keep calm and stay focussed when working under pressure and towards deadlines, as I’m constantly working on a number of different projects at the same time. Developing these skills in the workplace has also helped me when completing my coursework for my higher apprenticeship qualification.
Q. What is your college/work life balance like?
A. During term time, I spend four days a week in the workplace and one day a week at Newcastle College. I really enjoy my day at college because it is my dedicated time to complete my coursework and gives me the opportunity to catch-up with my lecturer, who is there to support me and answer any queries or concerns I may have. I’ve also made some good friends at college who I get to see regularly and, because we all have aspirations of a career in Engineering, we have plenty in common.
Q. How did you choose what apprenticeship programme to study?
A. I decided to choose Engineering because it was a subject that had always been of great interest to me and I’d heard that many businesses locally were looking for and taking on Engineering apprentices.
Q. How did you feel when you were offered the work placement at Capula?
A. I was quite nervous for the interview, but I really didn’t need to be. The interviewers were really nice and they just wanted to know a little about me and my career goals. Once I’d left, I got a call 45 minutes later off the interviewer offering me the job, I was over the moon! I couldn’t wait to start working there as it was a great opportunity for me to kick-start my career in an industry I was passionate about.
Q. What would you say to somebody thinking about studying an apprenticeship?
A. I would say that it is a great opportunity because you get to experience what it’s like to work in a professional environment and work towards your qualifications while earning your own money. They can also help you to progress within the workplace as some might offer and pay for you to go to university – just like I am doing.