Starting out as an Apprentice Engineer
Hey Matt, tell us a little bit about yourself!
My name is Matt Brock, I’m 23 and am a Highways Apprentice. I’m working towards my level 6 qualification and this will take 4 years. Outside of work I enjoy tabletop gaming and am a part of the English Civil War Society. I spend a few weekends a year re-enacting battles and educating the public on life during this period!
How long have you been in your role and what were you doing before?
I have been in my role for just over 2 months now. I have a previous CertHE qualification in Aerospace Engineering from Swansea University. After leaving university, around the birth of my son, I worked as an upholsterer for a local business for 2 years before joining the Council.
What made you apply to Wiltshire Council and why did you choose an apprenticeship?
I had a desire to return to education after leaving but could not afford to leave full-time employment and return to university. Wiltshire Council was offering an apprentice position within the highways department which would ultimately lead to a degree upon completion. I was certain that I wanted to pursue a career in engineering and the position seemed like the perfect opportunity to get back to working towards my goal! Another great reason I chose this position was that after my interview I was offered to start directly onto the level 6 qualification because of my prior relevant experience and qualifications.
What do you get up to as an Apprentice Engineer?
My fellow Apprentice Engineers and I have all been placed into a team working within the Highways and Transport department. I’ve been placed within the Highways Asset Management team. There are several projects I’m directly involved with. Firstly, I’m assisting in the rollout and training of a new line of business software. I’m also looking for potential footway resurfacing schemes; creating plans and costing them up. Finally, along with the other apprentices, we are surveying the county’s bus shelters to update our asset register. These projects are fun and engaging and allow me to get out and about around the county.
As for the apprenticeship side of things, I’ll be starting my academic studies in September 2020 at UWE in Bristol! The exact details are yet to be confirmed but I’ll be attending university one day a week with additional time given for study and exams.
What have you experienced so far in your apprenticeship journey? Are there any highlights or anything that has surprised you?
It has been a huge adjustment coming into a sector where I had no previous working experience. For the first few weeks, there was no pressure at all as we shadowed experienced colleagues and learned about the Highways Sector and how it operates. I was however surprised that within a very short time scale I was given projects that afforded me a great deal of autonomy where I could learn and develop at my own pace, all whilst having expert guidance to help me along the way.
What are you hoping to have achieved by the time you finish your course?
Primarily I am hoping to achieve my BEng in Civil Engineering and to become a fully qualified Highway engineer. During the course of the apprenticeship, I will be dabbling in all aspects of Highways and I hope this will help me to become a very well rounded Engineer.
Where are you hoping this apprenticeship will take you?
My long term career goal is to achieve Chartered Engineer status. Both the academic and working experience of my apprenticeship is vital to achieving this. I’d possibly be looking for further development opportunities particularly in the Leadership and Management apprenticeships offered by the Council.
Lastly, what would you say to someone who is thinking of applying for a role at Wiltshire Council?
I would highly recommend applying to anyone. The career development opportunities that are offered are incredible and this is compounded by the flexible working policies here. My work-life balance has increased dramatically in the last few months since joining.
To find out more about becoming a #WiltsApprentice, visit our Apprenticeship page!