On day two of National Apprenticeship Week Radar Technician, Nick Marsden, tells us why career progression first attracted Nick to his apprenticeship in general engineering. Here’s what he had to say…

“I have been working at RAF Spadeadam since August 2008, starting out as a Threat Equipment Operator. Although I loved this job, after nine years I was keen to progress and wanted to move from operating and deploying various threat systems to their maintenance.

“A few years ago I began taking a Level 3 BTEC for a Maintenance Operations & Engineering Technician, and achieved a Distinction** at the end of the two-year course. I saw so much benefit from my BTEC that I wanted to carry on my learning, so I progressed onto Level 4 and am now in my second and final year of my course and loving it. I have a one day release from work each week to go into college and alongside that, a representative from the college often visits the workplace to monitor my work at Landmarc.

“Apprenticeships are not without their challenges, but that’s what the scheme is for – to challenge and develop! The elements I’ve found most demanding have been maths and physics as these are very in-depth topics. I would say half the course is dedicated to these subjects, but I believe if you concentrate it can be achieved.

“The pandemic has added to the challenge! I spent a lot of time at home trying to complete assignments for a given timeframe, and completed about a month’s worth of college days using Microsoft Teams – all while balancing work and home life. But it all makes for good experience and has been manageable.

“Every bit of knowledge picked up from both work and college has helped me in my apprenticeship. It can sometimes be a lot to take in but it’s very rewarding. My maths has certainly improved, but I also think I’ve developed in my role and my confidence has definitely increased as a result of all the training.

“The support from work has been excellent. It was Landmarc that gave me the opportunity to start my apprenticeship, and have allowed me the time to work so hard on it. If you’re thinking about starting an apprenticeship, I’d say you must be willing to put the work in and have the desire to progress. If that sounds like you, then an apprenticeship is absolutely the right choice.”

View our quick guide to apprenticeships at Landmarc here.