|Qualification:||Level 2 Apprenticeship in Rail and Civil Maintenance|
Rail Engineering Apprenticeships Kent
Jay successfully achieved his Level 2 Apprenticeship in Rail and Civil Maintenance at B. & M. McHugh Limited in June last year and has since progressed down a different career path within the Company. We caught up with Jay to see how his Apprenticeship achievement has helped in his career!
Courtesy of Jay’s hard work throughout his time on his apprenticeship; he has continued his employment with B. & M. McHugh Limited and has progressed to Trainee Health and Safety Advisor within the company.
“My first job was working in a retail store whilst also doing a Level 1 Engineering/Welding Course at College. I found it hard getting a job in Engineering as Level 1 only covers the bases and so whilst useful, it didn’t help me to get on the career ladder in this area and so my parents suggested Apprenticeships to me enabling me to earn whilst you learning of which interested me. I have always had the mindset of a career in the Engineering sector, even doing a construction course at school, a few family members work in rail so I decided to look down this route. I found a Rail Apprenticeship on the GOV website so applied and started at the age of 20.”
Jay completed his apprenticeship at Shepherdswell near Dover, with IPS subcontractor, Rose Rail Training Academy C.I.C. RRTA work in partnership with East Kent Railway. Jay talks about how both his assessor and his in-house tutor helped him throughout him apprenticeship journey.
“I was originally nervous to start my apprenticeship with employer B. &M. McHugh Limited, but there were 12 of us in the team/company and we did team building skills and this helped me with my confidence. Once starting and meeting the assessor and tutor, I found the learning aspect brilliant. I think the Assessors helped in this department as we had Jason from RRTA, who was delivering our qualification and training and a B. & M. in-house tutor who gave us an insight into his previous rail experience. We had monthly reviews where they talked to us about how we were doing and our future and the support and guidance we received was brilliant.
We had the best of both worlds in regards to classroom and practical learning. We focused on basic rail knowledge and brick laying and concreting. Reading textbooks doesn’t always meet my learning style, whereas doing the physical aspect; for example, brick laying, we did continuously for weeks, it starts to become second nature and you gain real experience. I’ve always been more of a hands-on person so I enjoyed this. However, my apprenticeship has taken me down a new career path, and I am now in an office based job and I have found this works for me too.“
Through the apprenticeship, Jay opted on a different option down his career path that he never would have originally thought of and from this gained new additional skills.
“Our manager used to come and monitor us, she told our tutor on one visit that she had a job opportunity in the Health and Safety Team that had become available and so I put my name forward along with a few others and was chosen. I now work in our Head Office and it’s something I never thought I would do, it’s a massive career change but I’m enjoying the role and improving all the time. For example, my colleague and I created inspection sheets which were completed on paper onto electronic versions now and so we now fill these out on tablets instead so that they can be sent off straight away with no scanning needed enabling us to work more efficiently.
Part of my training for the role, was to achieve an IOSH managing safety course whilst doing my apprenticeship and so I did this and have also recently sat my NBOSH Qualification, which is the next level in Healthy and Safety, that I am awaiting my results for. The next step will be more progression down the Healthy and Safety route to obtain a Diploma. I have decided to stay in the Health and Safety sector and get the highest qualifications I can achieve and work my way up to a senior manager role in the future.
In my opinion, apprenticeships are the best way to get on the career ladder and can benefit your development in many ways. I was only working part time and an apprenticeship helped transition me into working in a full-time role and has given me skills like working better with communication, confidence, a permanent employment, qualifications and opportunities that I wouldn’t originally think about.
I would recommend apprenticeships to anyone and from experience believe it’s the way forward, for school leavers especially. It’s the next step as you earn whilst you learn and get that experience. I wish I had chosen to do an apprenticeship straight from school. I wouldn’t hesitate to complete more qualifications in the future to upskill myself further. I would work with IPS and their subcontractors again, for more qualifications as they have been a great help with my development in my career.
IPS would like to congratulate Jay and wish him the very best luck with his NEBOSH results and all the best with his future progression.