Lydia is currently completing her UET Level 3 apprenticeship standard and is in her second year of studies. Lydia is based at our Ashford Common water treatment works site and is currently working with her mentor to complete her NVQ level 3 in mechanical and electrical engineering. In year 1 & 2 of Lydia’s apprenticeship she studied her PEO (performing engineering operation) units and BTEC in engineering at Guildford college, full time in year one and day release in year two.
Can you tell me about your background?
When I was younger, I was fortunate enough to do lots of travelling and experience many different cultures and ways of life. I like to think this has made me quite open-minded. I'm always excited to meet new people and try new things.
My education was a bit unconventional. My mum home-schooled me from the age of about six and I went on to complete my secondary education with an online school. Having this background showed me the value of learning in a way that was tailored to me, not necessarily sticking to the norm
Why did you choose to apply for a Thames Water apprenticeship?
I found Thames Water when I was searching for engineering apprenticeships all over the UK. I was really excited to have the opportunity to work on such an important service as water. I also loved the opportunities for progression within Thames and the fact that I could train in both mechanical and electrical.
I come from Wales and grew up overseas, so I didn't know much about Thames Water before I found the apprenticeship. I've been really happy with my experience, though, and love being able to study and work at the same time.
Can you tell me about your life and career journey?
I was born in Wales, but I spent most of my childhood as a British expat in Saudi Arabia. When I got a bit older, I came back to Wales on my own and started work as a waitress. I liked waitressing, but it was never what I wanted to do in the long-term.
I was really interested in engineering, but I wasn't sure I was quite ready to take up fulltime studying again or end up with a massive student loan. An apprenticeship seemed a great way to learn while also earning a good wage and supporting myself. Although I was offered apprenticeships closer to where I lived, the Thames Water apprenticeship offered great training, a generous salary, and some really exciting prospects for the future. It was an opportunity worth travelling for.