“I think apprenticeships are the best way to go. They give you the opportunity to gain a great foundation and it’s worked really well for me.”
Tain works as a Maintenance Technician for Macduff Shellfish in Mintlaw. He opted for the electrical route with his apprenticeship qualifications: Performing Engineering Operations (PEO), National Certificate (NC) and Higher National Certificate (HNC).
He never intended to be an engineer when he was at school.
Tain explains: “After leaving Banff Academy, I started off studying Computing Science at Moray College but I didn’t really enjoy it so I left after the first year. I knew I wanted to try something new and that it had to be practical. It was a complete shot in the dark that I opted for the PEO course with NESCol at Fraserburgh. Luckily I really enjoyed the course and that’s why I carried on with electrical engineering.”
Tain had a part time job as a general labourer with Macduff Shellfish whilst he was studying for his PEO, 3 days a week at College. After he successfully completed the qualification he was approached by the company to see if he wanted join as an apprentice and he jumped at the opportunity.
He completed his NC at College on day release and began his HNC in Electrical Engineering when lockdown began.
He said: “I thought the lecturers went the extra mile and were really good. Online teaching wasn’t as good as being in the classroom but fortunately for me the HNC is a lot of theory so it was manageable.”
The apprenticeship was completed in just under 4 years.
“Now that I am time-served I earn more and I have greater responsibility. I am part of an engineering squad with both mechanical and electrical engineers. I have a shift partner who looks after the mechanical side and myself the electrical and together we look after pre-planned maintenance, monitoring breakdowns and continuous improvement projects.
“I have a very enjoyable and challenging job as I get to do different things every day. There are a lot of machines and each are unique so there is a lot to learn. I think apprenticeships are the best way to go. They give you the opportunity to gain a great foundation and it’s worked really well for me.”