Apprentices going from strength to strength

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The apprenticeship programme at Forte Engineering has been running since 2019.  To-date we have employed 4 apprentice electricians who have been working across a range of projects including Reston Station, Waverley Toilet upgrade and the Aberdeen Station Refurbishment programme.

Peter Reilly joined the team in January 2020 after completing his pre-apprenticeship course to learn the basic electrical training at Cardonald College. We spoke to Peter about his role and what he’s enjoyed the most so far.

What areas of training have you received so far?

At the start of my training, I was working with the engineering team to do some basic tasks such as bending conduits and cutting cable trays.   After 4 months, I had become more experienced and was working on projects such as install cable containment, understand basic wiring diagrams, and terminate wiring for larger jobs such as the Waverley toilet upgrade and the Aberdeen Station refurbishment.  I even worked on a house renovation where I learned a range of different skills.

What support have you received from Forte Engineering?

For each project I have had a nominated supervisor who is a qualified electrician.  They have been extremely supportive, showing me how to complete tasks that are complicated and encouraging me to try new things on my own.  They are there to ask questions, demonstrate new things and check each project to ensure it is right.

There’s also lots of help at head office.  Health and safety is a massive part of my job and I will read and understand our task brief’s and risk assessments prior to the job commencing and ask questions to understand why these procedures are in place.

So how has this worked with your college course?

I’m in the second year of my course and have attended the course in the college for 11 weeks.  This gives me a good all round theoretical and practical knowledge which really helps when I’m working on new jobs. 

What is it about the job that you enjoy the most?

I am working on a wide range of projects using different tools, plant and materials.  Each project gives me the opportunity to expand my knowledge and skills.  My supervisors have all been great.  They teach me why specific tools and equipment are used on each job.  They trust me to do so things on my own that I have been shown previously, which is great for developing my skills and confidence.  They are a great company to work with and have been really supportive of me through all the elements of my apprenticeship.”

What do you plan to do next?

Once I qualify I’d like to do continue my studies to HND level.  I see myself being with Forte Engineering for the next few years and develop my skills and knowledge even further.

Stuart Jack, Lecturer at Cardonald College said, "The best type of apprenticeships are ones where the students are able to take the theory they learn at college out to a project and work with a supervisor who provides in-depth training and guidance to support the trainee as they develop.  Forte Engineering has been a great employer.  Peter's skills have come on leaps and bounds, and it is fantastic to see him taking on much more responsibility and using the advice and knowledge he's gained over the last 18 months.  He has an excellent attitude towards his apprenticeship and if he keeps working hard, he will do very well. "  

Derek Riddell, Managing Director at Forte Engineering said, “Our apprentices form an integral part of our engineering team.  They are all enthusiastic, dedicated individuals who turn up each day willing and eager to get involved in the projects they are working on.  No task is too much for them; they roll up their sleeves and get ‘stuck in’ beside their supervisor.  We have had a fantastic experience working with both Cardonald College and New College Lanarkshire and would recommend their apprenticeship schemes to anyone.  We really enjoy the fact that we can nurture and support these young adults to develop and hone their skills and we’re currently in the next phase of recruiting 2 more apprentices to add to the team.”

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