Former Student Talks Apprenticeships

Former South Wirral High School student, Josh Connolly, 19, visited the school during National Apprenticeship Week 2016, to tell us about his current apprenticeship with TTE.

“TTE Training Limited is a training provider set up by industry for industry. TTE has grown to become one of the North West’s leading providers of sponsored Advanced Apprenticeships Level 3 in Engineering and Laboratory Operations and Engineering Apprenticeship Level 2 programmes with Whole Person Development incorporated into the training.”

We asked him to tell us how he achieved his apprenticeship, what he does, and why he chose the apprenticeship route.

Miss Willis: What made you decide to do an apprenticeship?
Josh Connolly: I think I always wanted to go straight into a job situation. Even though I enjoyed school, but I knew I would go on to something a bit more ‘hands on’ and wanted to move towards engineering.

MW: What is involved in your apprenticeship?
JC: I’m doing Level 3 Engineering, focusing on process operations at my work placement at Essar Oil Refinery. TTE offer three disciplines to choose from including Process Operations, Instrumentation, and Mechanical Engineering. The apprenticeship is three and a half years long, so the first two years are spent in the classroom, learning theory, and doing practicals in the workshop. TTE expose you to all the disciplines on a carousel basis, so you know which direction you want to take when it comes to an on-site placement.

MW: Where are you doing your work placement?
JC: Essar Oil Refinery, Stanlow. They’re also sponsoring me to complete an HNC (Higher National Certificate), which is brilliant.

The Higher National Certificate (HNC) Mechanical Engineering provides apprenticeships with a programme of study over a range of disciplines to help develop your skills to progress your career through employment or further education at degree level.

MW: How did you get the apprenticeship?
JC: I picked up an application from a friend who was an apprentice, so decided to apply for the apprenticeship after finishing Sixth Form. TTE asked me to come in for an interview, and I got in!

MW: What’s the best thing about it?
JC: Getting paid to learn, and getting extra qualifications for free!

MW: What do SR expect from their apprentices?
JC: They expect you to be ultra reliable,  punctual, that kind of thing. Also, it’s important to keep asking questions, be motivated, keen and hard working. It’s so important to be a model apprentice as we all want a job at the end of it.

MW: Is there any advice you’d give to students wanting to pursue an apprenticeship?
JC: Yeah. My employer is big on extra-curricular activities on your CV. I did loads at South Wirral High School because they have so many to offer. Sports Leaders was so helpful to me, meant I had a lot to put on my CV, and it gave me so much to talk about in my interview. I coached year 7 students and did so many things that meant my confidence increased, and as I say, had loads to talk about in my interview. Employers want to see lots of interests on CVs. It’s more than just having the right grades now; you have to show you have the commitment, drive, and a great attitude to life!

MW: Thanks for coming in to see us, Josh. Good luck with the rest of your apprenticeship and future career.
JC: Thanks!

For information on South Wirral High School’s wide range of extra-curricular activities, click here.

If you are interested in apply to South Wirral High School, please call 0151 327 3213 or find our High School Prospectus here.

For our Sixth Form Prospectus, click here.