We spoke to Jack, one of our Laboratory Technician Apprentices at Tarmac and asked him how his apprenticeship is going and if he had any advice for anyone thinking about starting one. Here is what he had to say:
“My name is Jack Waltham, I’m 17 Years old and I have been an apprentice for 6 months. I work for Tarmac Building Products in the Specialist products lab where my main responsibilities revolve around the quality control side, this is where I test products that are made on our plant at swains park. I’m a Big derby county fan and enjoy going to the games when I can.
Before I started at Tarmac I was in college studying cyber security for 6 months, this wasn’t really for me in the end and that’s why I wanted a change. Tarmac was a perfect fit for me. I was also along that time working retail in my local DIY store where I sold a range of things from Paint to Ride on Lawn mowers, so everything has changed for me along those lines. Before Retail I was a Chef and Waiter at The 50’s American Diner. At the time I enjoyed it and learnt a lot about the work environment and how to act.
I was mainly inspired to join the apprenticeship through my mum who works at the same site as the Sales Manager. I had seen what tarmac had done for her career so I knew I was going to be joining a good company who would back me to progress up the ladder, and that is what I was looking for when I was applying for apprenticeships before joining Tarmac.
My goals for the future is to go into management as its always been something I want to do, I believe that through the apprenticeship I can gain the knowledge early on and I will also gain a qualification that directly benefits the career path I want to take. I also have an ambition to one day join the East Midlands Ambulance Service as first aid and the medical factor has always been an interest and the apprenticeship has allowed me to learn a lot of people skills, time management and organisation skills.
I really enjoy the learning aspect as I learn something new every day, and because of the environment I work in being so versatile there’s always something new to look at as two things are never the same. This keeps me always switched on. I also enjoy the teamwork that comes with working in such a small team, we get on well and that’s something I haven’t experienced before. I believe it has really benefitted my experience and my on the job training.
Everyone who knows me and that I’m an apprentice is really supportive of the idea and they are all interested in the field I work in. Many people see apprentices as people who will work in an office and do laminating or printing all day, however this is not the case. I really enjoy being able to speak to people about what I do and see their genuine interest in the field. All of my friends who attend Sixth form and college like the idea of doing an apprenticeship and I couldn’t recommend it enough.
I believe that since joining the apprenticeship I have become a lot more organised in all aspects of my life. Being organised is just a normal thing to me now, putting things back as soon as I’m finished with it and things like that. I also think I’ve become a lot more independent as I’m used to a challenge and love to do more things with my family. Most importantly I’ve learnt a lot about the value of money as I have to work for it now and I understands what my parents go through with saving and payments and things like that.
My advice for anyone thinking about starting an apprenticeships is to always be ready to learn as you will do everyday, but also if you feel stuck at any point to don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask for help. People will be more than happy to take the time and teach you certain things and tips that they have picked up. Also to make sure that you enjoy what you’re doing. There is no point doing an apprenticeship in something you don’t want to do because that way you not going to learn and just waste your own time.”