Why I Became an Apprentice Welder – Liam Massey

Posted: 7th of June 2017 by Miro Demo

I decided to go into an apprenticeship as I wanted to earn some money and also educate myself in a trade that could hold a career for life. The first time I heard of apprenticeships was in secondary school, towards my final year and this was the time I was introduced to a careers officer who signed me up to a website full of apprenticeships.

Finding an Apprenticeship

After school, I decided to go to college as I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do for work. I had weekend jobs in between but they didn’t work out and I wasn’t enjoying my college course so this is when I decided to look into an apprenticeship again, along with boost from family members. I looked online and applied for a few as I was desperate to learn a trade because I knew it would be the best option for me to take. Most of the jobs I applied for didn’t stand out to me but as my Dad, Uncle and my Nana’s partner all have experience and knowledge of the welding industry, they encouraged me to have a look into welding.

I looked on the internet for welding apprenticeships and straight away I applied for a position and luckily secured myself an interview. I found the interview process quite uplifting as I was told about all the opportunities that I could have by going into this area of work. I was asked basic questions that might come up in an interview and then was shown around the workshop. A week after the interview I was invited back for a 2 day trial at the work place and this opened my eyes to what a working day would look like.

The following week I attended the full interview and was later informed that I had been successful in my application and would start at the beginning of 2016. On my first day, I was quite nervous in meeting new faces but everyone was welcoming and I settled in nicely. The first day was just getting used to things, watching the other welders and asking plenty of questions as I was also having a practice on a welding machine.

Combining Work and College

About a month after my first day at work I started my one day a week at college. I go to Alliance Learning and this is where I learn things such as all the Health & Safety and the theory side of welding in more depth. College helps me a lot as it goes into detail of how things work and what I as an individual need to do at a workplace. I am currently revising for my exam to pass my Level 2 and hopefully go onto my Level 3.

I also found that college has enhanced my social network and communication skills as the other apprentices in my class have become good friends. We all help each other out with problems or tasks that we come across when at college and at work.

I go to college every Thursday, and that leaves me with 4 days in work and each day/week can be different as there can be a lot or few work on. Most days that I am working on a job are quite enjoyable as the time flies and I feel I have accomplished something although occasionally when there isn’t any welding work I sweep up and make sure the workplace is clean and tidy as we have some high profile customers. My boss says ‘it’s good for the soul’ and that it is all part of the growing and learning process.

Looking to the Future

My ambitions right now would be to complete my Level 2 progress to my Level 3 qualification but in the long run I would like to be fully qualified and become the best I can. I feel quite confident at this moment in time as I am already being given individual jobs and I have also ‘tested out’ in a full range of welding processes such as MMA, MIG, MAG and TIG but I will continue to improve with more practice and time on the tools .

I would recommend the apprenticeship route for all people similar to myself who feel that higher education is not for them at 16 or 17.It has given me confidence to know I can and am good at something and that the future is looking good.

 

- This Inspiration was provided by Carry On Welding which has an apprenticeships section for any of you who might want to follow in Liam's footsteps.

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