For six years Mike Baker has been repairing trains for a living and he is now moving along the right track as he undertakes the Electrotechnical (Maintenance) Apprenticeship with Solihull College.
Mike works as a Technician at London Midland, which operates train services through the heart of England from London in the South, to Birmingham in the Midlands and Liverpool in the North West. The company manages 147 stations and operates over 1,300 services a day, with more than 50 million passenger journeys made each year.
When he first joined the company, 23-year-old Mike undertook a Mechanical Engineering Apprenticeship, but with the majority of his work now being electrical-based he and his employers decided it would be beneficial to carry out the Electrotechnical (Maintenance) Apprenticeship to develop his skills and knowledge in this field.
Mike, from Birmingham, comments: “My role as a Technician is centred on electrics and whilst I have a basic understanding of how things work, I felt the Apprenticeship would enable me to develop my technical skills further and understand how to repair any type of electrical fault. Since starting the Apprenticeship in October I have gained a deeper insight into electrical engineering and this has already helped me complete different jobs in the workplace. The Apprenticeship is definitely giving me the best of both worlds as I am studying to become a fully qualified electrician while gaining hands-on practical experience in the workplace at the same time.”
Mike’s role as a Technician involves repairing all types of electrical faults on London Midland trains, which can be anything from the heating systems to the air conditioning units. He is based at the company’s Tyseley depot where he works on a 24/7 shift rota to ensure the trains are fit for purpose every day of the year.
Paul Carrigan, Compliance Manager at London Midland, comments: “Mike is progressing well and enjoying the challenge he has set for himself with our support. Since he started the Apprenticeship we have noticed increased benefits to the business through his additional knowledge and increased skills base. In addition, his example of self motivation is starting to create interest from other colleagues at London Midland.”
The Electrotechnical (Maintenance) Apprenticeship is delivered by Solihull College at its Woodlands Campus in Smith’s Wood at two levels – Intermediate and Advanced. The programme allows learners to gain the qualifications, knowledge and experience needed for a career in the electrical industry, with the Advanced Apprenticeship also offering quality training at industry standards. The programmes have been designed by employers for employers, so apprentices can be certain they are gaining the correct skills demanded by the ever expanding electrical industry.
On completion of the Apprenticeship learners will be fully qualified electricians and have the opportunity to progress their careers in the domestic, commercial or industrial fields.
For more information about taking on an apprentice call Solihull College Employer Services Team on 0121 678 7181.