Apprentice Case Study: Damel Clarke

Why did you decide to do an apprenticeship?

I chose to start an apprenticeship because I was interested in the idea of hands on learning while earning. I also believe there are greater job opportunities which appeal to apprentices following the scheme, mainly at the company but in other industrial related organisations.

Please describe your experience..

My experience so far has been nothing short of overwhelming due to the welcoming of all of the people within the organisation. I have no doubts nor regrets about joining Colas Rail and I am excited about my future at the company.

Level 3 Permanent Way Apprentice - My journey so far has been exciting, fast-paced and very intriguing simply because of the never-ending amount of art and intelligence which lies beneath the constructive art of the railway infrastructure.

How has your apprenticeship helped you to progress in your career?

I started my apprenticeship with barely any expectation of what it would involve. It was exciting to be working full time and to get used to it from a young age. From the start of the scheme up until now, I am continuously taking on higher level tasks which support my apprenticeship modules. The workload is always manageable but challenging. I was very surprised how supportive and encouraging my colleagues were, they constantly pushed me to achieve the best, gave advice, all at the same time as helping me learn and develop my skills.

What do you feel are the advantages of doing an apprenticeship over other training or education?

For someone like myself that prefers to learn through hands on work, instead of reading books, then an apprenticeship is very beneficial and puts and individual at an advantage. The coursework which is included supports the hands on work and enhances full understanding and the ins and out of job aspects. The first-hand experience of how everything works within the particular industry and career path is a huge advantage, which you don't get with university and other education or training. And finally once the apprenticeship scheme is complete, you are at an advantage to get a job role within the company and if you decide to go elsewhere within the industry, you then have the experience of that job role that you can add to your CV which can play an essential role in getting you the job you apply for.

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