Bath College works with over 260 businesses, who employ over 450 apprentices, making it the largest provider of apprenticeships in the Bath and North East Somerset area.
Scott Jardine is studying at the college and working as a fourth year technical apprentice at Rotork, one of Bath’s biggest engineering employers. The 21-year-old is finishing his apprenticeship this summer and has been offered a full-time job with the company.
In this interview, he shares his thoughts on his time as an apprentice. To find out about apprenticeships at Bath College click here.
Why did you choose to study for an engineering apprenticeship?
I have always had a passion for engineering from a young age. I also chose to study engineering because I was keen to follow in the footsteps of my father and grandfather, who run a family owned metal fabrication business in Bristol.
Where did you find out about your apprenticeship?
I found out about Rotork and their apprenticeship scheme by attending Bath College’s annual skills fair, which is an opportunity for young people aged 15 to 25 to meet a wide variety of industry-leading companies all under one roof.
It was a great way to meet all local companies and speak to them face to face. Rotork featured regularly in the local newspaper for large investments into their apprenticeship scheme. This showed me the business was doing well and they wanted to employ young people to benefit Rotork’s future, which made me want to work there and be a part of the journey.
What was it that attracted you to study as an apprentice?
As an apprentice I get the best of both worlds. I was taught engineering and experienced this in a working environment whilst being paid. People can leave university with large debts and no guarantee of a job, but with an apprenticeship I was one step ahead with my career.
What have you learnt as an apprentice at Rotork?
As an apprentice at Rotork I have learnt that it is important to work together in a team to share ideas and experience. I have gained valuable knowledge and experience thanks to a blend of workplace training and college learning. I have become more confident with communication and can now effectively liase with customers, suppliers and people with different responsibility levels.
What support have you had from Bath College?
Bath has become a very well-established college for engineering, with more and more people taking courses in the subject. The college has great resources available for my use, including personal computers, a library and a student advice centre. My course lecturers who teach me have been very helpful, organised, and professional throughout my learning experience.
Have there been any highlights/ what have you found most interesting?
Rotork’s technical apprenticeship scheme has greatly improved my analytical and practical skills in engineering, in particular my maths problem solving skills.
I found my voice was heard and my involvement was valued from managers, who put their trust in you to carry out tasks. I was treated the same as any other member of staff.
I have enjoyed meeting new people from all levels of authority, this has enabled me to build professional contacts which will greatly benefit my future.
You’ve now been offered a full-time job as a graduate engineer – how does it feel to secure a full-time position and to continue at Rotork?
It’s a great feeling knowing I have secured a full-time job. I’m working as a graduate engineer on a global project, using Microsoft Dynamics AX Software to develop and implement a single integrated standard system. This will support Rotork’s key business processes, activities and reporting of all the Rotork sales and marketing, valve automation centres, and centres of excellence across the globe.
What are your aspirations for the future?
My ambitions for the future are to graduate from my Higher National Certificate in Electrical Engineering and continue higher education and work-based training.
I would like to grow my roles and responsibilities whilst incorporating travel with my job. I see this as a great way of learning and exploring the many divisions and sectors Rotork cover, leading to the big goal of becoming a manager for a department with customer faced interaction.
Do you have any tips for someone considering an apprenticeship?
I would thoroughly recommend an apprenticeship because you have a foot in the industry at such an early stage in your career, which is massively beneficial. You can experience working in many areas of the business and choose what suits you – you cannot do this at university. Once you’ve completed the apprenticeship, you’ll have credentials that will be valued anywhere you go.
Interested in an apprenticeship? Let us know!
What are the next steps to becoming an apprentice?
Please complete the form below giving details of the apprenticeship you want to take and the employer who has offered you a placement.