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To celebrate Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2017, we thought you might like to meet our apprentices! We are lucky to have five in total; three with Dustacco and two with Watermiser, and over the next few days we’ll be introducing you to them all. First up is Sean, who is in his first year of his NC Fabrication and Welding with Ayrshire College and is working with Watermiser.

So Sean, what made you choose a Modern Apprenticeship and how did you hear about Watermiser?
I like to know how things are made and how they work, so I’ve always been interested in engineering. I went to Ayrshire College straight from school and was doing CNT Machining and Programming. I saw the notice for the Modern Apprenticeship with Watermiser on the board and thought it sounded interesting, so I applied.

How does the work at Watermiser align with your Apprenticeship course?

As well as the NC Fabrication and Welding, we’re doing Composite Material and Manufacturing, which is slightly different, and relates more to the work we’re doing at Watermiser. The Fabrication and Welding is covered in the Dustacco workshop, and we get to go across and practice often, so we’re getting a bit extra.

You were working in London last week – how did that go?
It was great; London is so different – always busy, no matter what time of day it is. And Graeme (Young – Watermiser Site Supervisor) was a good guide, he knows everyone down there! We were there for four days, inspecting eight cooling towers in Westminster. We had to inspect each tower to make sure that it was clean and that all the components were in good order and that there was no damage.

What is a normal working week like for you?
We’re learning how to build the towers from start to finish. If I’m working on one thing then Louis will work on something different, and then we’ll switch, so we’re both getting a chance to learn how each part is made and put together. Polishing the panels is tiring, it all needs to be buffed by hand and is hard work physically. Everything is hand-made, so a lot of elbow grease is involved!
On a Tuesday we are at college. We have two classes. We have welding practice in the morning and then welding and machinery theory in the afternoon.
I’m enjoying all of the different parts of the course. It’s good to learn the welding side of things but I’m also interested in learning how to fit all the components, pack etc. into the towers. When we practice welding, Alex (McNab – Dustacco Workshop Supervisor) helps us with our joins, which is good, and we’ve even had a chance to make some items for Watermiser. Alex is a big help; he keeps us right and makes sure we’re doing everything properly.
Everybody in the team gets on well, and they all know what needs to be done. If I have a problem or am worried about anything then I can talk to any of the team and they’ll be more than happy to help. They’re all really supportive. It’s funny because there is definitely a difference between the apprentices and the supervisors, maybe it’s an age thing, I don’t know, but I can tell when they’re looking at me and thinking “what is he talking about?!”. But they’re a great bunch and are always there if we need them.
The same goes for our college lecturer; he’s really approachable and I’ve no trouble asking for support if I need it because I know he’ll be happy to help.