This week is National Apprenticeship Week and Shrewsbury Colleges Group is celebrating all the work we do with employers and apprentices.

We currently have 763 students undertaking an apprenticeship through us and we would like to bring to your attention today one named Tom Farquharson, who is currently a Level 3 Engineering Technician. We have asked him some questions that could help you decide whether an apprenticeship is right for you.

Why did you choose an apprenticeship in electrical engineering?

Pursuing a career in electrical engineering has been something I have wanted to do for years. I think back to when I was a child and the time I would spend with my Grandad, he himself was an engineer who worked on some very interesting projects during his career including the London Underground and many others around the world. Due to my parents work commitments in the city I would spend a lot of time with my Grandad, and he would tell me stories from years gone by that I would be fascinated by. I would watch him for hours working on projects in the garage at home and long to be able to do the things he could. He could see my enthusiasm and would set me little projects of my own and guide me through them until I was confident enough to do them by myself.

In later years, my father-in-law became pivotal in my choice of career. He is an electrical engineer with over 35 years in the industry and has shown me what a truly interesting and diverse career it can be. When I first met him, I thought I had an idea of what “electrics” were, but I soon found out how little I actually knew. Since then, I have spent a great deal of time researching the subject that I now love. With my ever-expanding knowledge I am now able to have some interesting conversations with him and feel confident in the fact that I can understand.

When I started at Shrewsbury College in February 2022, I was nervous, having been out of education for some years, I didn’t know how I would get on being back in the classroom. But ever since day one I have loved every second. My favourite subjects are of course anything that is electrically based, and I look forward to the sessions all week. I never thought I would say it but when I receive an assignment, I actually enjoy it as it gives me the opportunity to show what I have learnt and to get the best possible grade that I can. It has shown me how much I enjoy learning.

Choosing an apprenticeship in electrical engineering is the best decision I have ever made in my working life, and I hope to carve out a long and successful career.

Why do you like working at Iconsys? /What do you enjoy about working at Iconsys?

Since joining Iconsys in November 2022 it has shown me the standard I want to get to. I remember back to my interview where I was shown around by Cliff. I was taken aback by how clean and organised everything was. It seemed to me that every tiny detail had been taken into consideration. I knew from the moment I arrived that it was something I wanted to be a part of. Another thing that stands out most to me is the attention to detail, everything has to be right. This is in my opinion how Iconsys stand out from others in the field. In the time since joining I feel I have settled in quite nicely thanks to everybody being so welcoming, friendly, and always willing to listen should you have any questions. Overall, I thoroughly enjoy working there.    

What are your aspirations after your apprenticeship?

Despite only being a year into my apprenticeship I often think what it is I wish to do next. Something that has stayed strong in my mind is the desire to continue learning. For this reason, I feel that continuing on to complete a Higher National Certificate (HNC) is the path in which I would like to go down. Doing this would develop my knowledge further and open up opportunities for me to progress with my work. My aim throughout my career is to never stop learning, and I hope one day to be the person that people can come to, to solve the problems that others cannot. From what I have seen and learnt so far, I believe I would like to pursue a career in the line of service and commissioning.

Find out more on apprenticeships here


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