Jamie Ballam, 19, Marine Electrical Apprentice
I’ve worked at the RNLI for 3 years now as part of a four year apprenticeship. Before this, I did my first year of A Levels and wasn’t enjoying it. It was mentioned by one of my teachers about Apprenticeships and I liked the idea of work based learning. I looked into Apprenticeships and found one being offered by the RNLI for an electrical position, which is what I wanted to go into. I applied and was lucky enough to get through the selection process. Here I am now in my third year!
The online selection process involved submitting your CV and filling in a job application. After you have been selected and pass that level, you are sent into college to do some basic tests and to make sure you got the grades. There’s a small interview and if you are successful at that stage you get sent to a formal interview at the RNLI with the managers. I was happy to found out soon after that I was successful in my application and got offered the Apprenticeship.
On a day to day basis, I muck into everything. From terminating and connecting up the systems to running in cables. The technicians at the RNLI mentor me and show me what needs to be done as well as helping to build my skills. Coming to college is good as we get to learn the theory side of things and do some different stuff.
To be a good apprentice, you have to be keen for the apprenticeship and committed. You’ve also got to put a lot of effort into it because you only get out as much as you put in. My advice would definitely be to make sure you keep on top of your college work too!