Earn as you learn and be an apprentice

Sion, from Caernarfonshire, works as a mechanical fitter for Dŵr Cymru after excelling on an apprenticeship programme that let him earn as he learned.

Exploring options

He left school with three A Levels in Maths, IT, PE and a Welsh Baccalaureate but decided against starting a university course as he was unsure about what he wanted to study.

“I liked the idea of an apprenticeship as it gave me the opportunity to go to college as well as gaining hands-on, practical experience. It meant I could earn a salary but still further my education at the same time,” said Sion,

“The opportunities to progress through Dŵr Cymru are great and I hope to move into a management role in the future.”

Finding out about local apprenticeships

Sion found out about the Welsh Government-approved Mechanical Engineering apprenticeship, which would allow him to receive a wage as he completed his studies.

Route to success

He completed a BTEC National Diploma and NVQ Level 3 at Coleg Cambria in Deeside, and did so well that he finished his studies early, the first in his group. He then bypassed his Level 4 to be offered an apprenticeship placement at Dŵr Cymru.

 “I’ve always been interested in understanding how water gets treated and I’ve loved having the opportunity to go behind the scenes to understand this process and learn from an experienced team,” he said.

“The opportunities to progress through Dŵr Cymru are great and I hope to move into a management role in the future.”

Sion added: “I feel that an apprenticeship is a great step between full-time education and full-time work as you get to learn the theory but then apply that practically to your role, which makes you much more knowledgeable and skilled at what you do.”

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