Fast forward almost 18 months and, we thought it was time to catch up with Nick to find out more about his career journey so far, and why he would recommend an apprenticeship to others starting out in industry.

Hi Nick! Please can you tell us a bit more about why you have chosen an Apprenticeship to further your education?

“I decided to do a Degree Apprenticeship because of the balance they create between work and education. Splitting my time between Waldeck’s Sheffield office and studying at Sheffield Hallam University has allowed me to gain hands on experience in the electrical and building services field, at the same time as learning the theory to support the real-word application.

“Experience in this trade is valuable and so the more exciting projects that I undertake at Waldeck, the more experience and knowledge I can obtain. This can then pass through into my further education because of the number of real-life scenarios that I have already encountered at Waldeck.

“I’m finding that all the modules that I am studying at Sheffield Hallam University can be applied to the jobs here at Waldeck, meaning that I can apply the knowledge to help better understand specific parts of my course and help out more significantly and become a real asset to the team. A degree in Electrical & Electronic Engineering is a springboard into industry, and with the work experience it allows me to expand my knowledge in this sector.”

Would you recommend starting an Apprenticeship and why?

“Absolutely! You learn at an astonishing rate. I have learnt so much and already feel part of the team, which is something that can be quite daunting when starting out. Apprenticeships are definitely the way to get more relevant hands-on experience as well as qualifications.

“On a personal level, I feel that I have been exposed to more engineering problems and scenarios than I would have never encountered being a full-time University student. This means that after 3 years, I will have a degree with 3 years of relevant work experience, compared to a University student who would perhaps just have a degree.

“I would highly recommend starting an Apprenticeship so that you are obtaining great qualifications and building up experience to be a valuable member of your team.”

What do you enjoy most about your role?

“I am most enjoying being part of a highly skilled team that uses its engineering expertise to help design some of the most exciting projects in the UK.

“There are so many things to learn about in this sector and this gives me something to look forward to everyday. The challenging aspects of the job also excite me because I feel you learn so much more when pushed into difficult sectors because you are so focussed on doing a successful job.

“Expanding my knowledge and understanding the levels of responsibility that are required at Waldeck is an area that I constantly enjoy because of the amount of care and pride that Waldeck employees take into every job. All in all, there are a few areas that I really enjoy, it is hard to narrow it down to just one.”

What role would you like to have in 5 years’ time?

“In 5 year’s time, I will have completed my 3 year degree course and had 5 year’s experience working at Waldeck. Consequently, I am hoping to be a Senior Engineer or very close to achieving this role, as well as being close to IEng (Incorporated Engineer) or EngTech status.

“I am hoping to also be working towards a Master’s degree in my field, because this would add great benefit to Waldeck and allow me to contribute more to the engineering team. 5 years is a long time, and there is so much to learn here at Waldeck. I am embracing the challenge and look forward to seeing where this Apprenticeship will take me.”

In the face of a Skills gap and lack of people choosing a career in STEM subjects, how would you inspire someone, to take a similar route into the workplace?

“For someone who is debating whether to do an Apprenticeship or not, I would inspire them by showcasing the different projects that are being worked on and try to have students have a hands-on approach to the job in hand. It is something that they will not have come across before and it is something that is totally different to the learning that is undertaken at school.

“I would also say that there are endless possibilities with STEM and the fact that no project has ever been the same no matter on how similar it may look. I also think the inspiration can spark early on at home or school by being exposed to STEM subjects at home. It would also be fantastic to see schools have a STEM day where they are tasked to create something and have the students think about how this could be achieved.

“I have recently signed up to become a STEM Ambassador and have plans to speak at some local schools over the coming months, where I look forward to being able to share my insight and experiences with school students to inspire them into a similar career path!”

Adam Machan, Director of Waldeck’s Mechanical & Electrical Building Services Design team shared about Nick:

“Since joining us, Nick has thrown himself every opportunity and what has really impressed us is the initiative he has shown.

“The team’s belief in Nick as a future leader has helped him really gain further confidence during his time at Waldeck so far. He has shown himself to be a ‘safe pair of hands’ when being handed a task, being able to understand technical requirements quickly and deliver consistently high quality work.”