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Lewis is on a Level 3 apprenticeship with Actavis (through the South West Apprenticeship Company)
Engineering Advance Apprenticeship Level 3 – North Devon
Employer: Actavis (through the South West Apprenticeship Company)
“I started at Petroc on an A Level programme, but I knew I didn’t want to go to university so, instead, started working full time when I finished.
However, I couldn’t see any career advances in my job, so decided to return to college to get some more qualifications. I’d already got used to working and getting paid, though, so wanted a way of combining both study and employment. This is why I chose an apprenticeship.
I chose engineering because I’d studied it for two years at school and really enjoyed it. Plus, there are lots of different avenues you can take within the industry.
As well as getting paid, I like the fact that, with an apprenticeship, you have the opportunity to put the skills you’ve learn in the classroom into practice immediately. Also, an apprenticeship gives you the chance to get used to working with people and how teams operate; a vital skills in the workplace.
From an employer’s point of view, they benefit from having an employee that they can shape to fit their business.
My goal is to get fully qualified and then move into management or project work. Like I said, there are lots of opportunities in this industry, so I’ll just see where my career takes me.
I’ve learnt quite a lot from the path I’ve taken through education. If I was to advise someone similar to me, who doesn’t necessarily want to follow the A Levels/university route, I’d say definitely consider an apprenticeship. You get real-life work experience and build contacts to help you find employment. In many ways I’d say that, because of this, apprentices have a head start over people who spend years and years studying before looking for a job.”