September 14, 2011 by Michael Williams
Severn Trent Water serves over 8 million customers across the heart of the UK, stretching from the Bristol Channel to the Humber, and from mid-Wales to the East Midlands. Mike Williams recently completed his apprenticeship which he began in 2006 and is now responsible for 110 sites! We took time out of Mike’s busy schedule to ask him a few questions.
Mike, thanks for having us. So September 2006, you took the plunge into an apprenticeship. Why was that?
Having left college at 18 with two A-levels I worked in numerous jobs for two years before deciding I wanted to learn a skill in engineering. I also wanted to better myself and gain qualifications to enable me to do well in my career.
You can’t say fairer than that Mike. So where did it all begin?
At first I was an instrumentation apprentice which meant I looked after all of the instrumentation, control and electrical systems on clean water treatment works. I am now an Area Manager, responsible for 110 sites which are a mixture of sewage treatment works and sewage pumping stations, I oversee the running of these sites both operationally and from a maintenance perspective.
And what was the best thing about being an apprentice?
The experience that is gained from on the job training mixed with the day release college courses are to me the best method of learning as I learnt my trade whilst at the same time gaining professional qualifications. A big incentive is that you are also getting paid to be at college!
Tell us a bit more about earning whilst you’re learning…
The main advantage is that you have money in your pocket whilst also being at college. I was also able to do many things in my own time that I would not have been able to do if I was at college with a part time job.
So an apprenticeship is something you’d recommend?
YES! An apprenticeship gives you the best of both forms of learning; on the job training and academic study. If you are lucky enough to get an apprenticeship don’t waste it! Take every opportunity you can but also work as hard at college as you do when you’re in work! Both parts of the apprenticeship are important!
That’s great advice Mike. Thanks for your help.
Mike took full advantage of his apprenticeship and is now reaping the rewards. Check out all the ways in which apprentices are learning valuable skills at our apprentice section.