Apprenticeship Week showcases all the incredible opportunities doing an apprenticeship can bring, both for individuals firing up their careers and for employers blazing a trail in their business and reaping the benefits of employing an apprentice.
Odhran Haughey, joined Telestack as an apprentice 3 years ago. Odhran left school knowing that the university route was not suited to his personality and that he wanted to jump onto the career ladder straight away. South West College approached Odhran with a new programme that they were launching called the Gold Scheme which would allow Odhran to study two days a week and work the remaining three days at a local engineering firm, Telestack.
Since successfully completing his apprentice course through the Gold Scheme Odhran, with the support of Telestack has moved onto a Foundation Degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering which he is completing at Ballymena NRC one day a week.
The four days a week that Odhran is in Telestack, he works alongside the electrical contractors predominantly focusing on our Track Conveyor and Low Feeder Conveyor product range. He ensures that the correct electrical kits are specified for machines, and if there are any electrical issues he will find a solution and also supports the sales and engineering departments by helping to develop new ideas and solutions.
Odhran commented, ‘Working alongside Telestack has given me the opportunity to EARN WHILE I LEARN. Every day at Telestack is different and the variety of tasks I complete and projects I work on keep me on my toes! I enjoy seeing new developments on material handling equipment coming through! The good thing about Telestack is that you are not restricted to just one area of work – since starting here I have been exposed to electrics, hydraulics and machine operation which is great as I can apply this practical knowledge to my course material.’
In the business world, employers including Telestack are recruiting people who have more than just a degree or an education. This is no longer enough. Experience is vital to grow and succeed in most, if not all industries. Odhran remarked ‘People that are doing similar courses as me in university are finding gaps in their learning and haven’t got the practical hands on knowledge/experience needed to get a job in their specialism.’ This demonstrates how important work experience is in securing a job today and to have an understanding of the challenges faced when entering the real world of work.
Odhran is delighted to have no college debts, more experience, and 3 year experience under his belt with a market leader within the material handling industry. Of course this brings with it the balancing act of juggling work and study but by his own admission Odhran believes that this has made him more efficient both in a work and study capacity! He has learned how to prioritize his time and is able to work through tasks quickly as in the working world there is a sense of urgency that you don’t often get in a normal college scenario.