As a radio engineering apprentice, Steven has been able to learn many new technical skills, as well as gain qualifications and get a better understanding of how businesses work.
Steven first discovered an interest in engineering through a career talk held at his school. He felt that engineering seemed like an interesting career choice and something that could really work for him.
“I then asked people in my family who are in similar industries in order to get their knowledge and experience on the subject, and after that I was convinced,” he says.
He decided to take the apprenticeship route into engineering and now works as a radio engineering apprentice for Simoco Group.
Currently in the third year of a four-year apprenticeship scheme, Steven has already achieved level 2 and level 3 NVQs as well as a level 3 BTEC and is now working towards his HNC.
As his time with the company has progressed, he’s been able to learn more about how the business works and gain new technical skills.
“My first year at the company was getting to know the business, and I gained valuable knowledge in all departments at the company by spending a set amount of time in each, giving me a good grounding and understanding.
“In the second year, I started to get much more involved in the engineering side of things and begun to help out on projects and I even (while shadowed) ran a project myself, which I used as evidence for my BTEC level 3,” he continues.
“My third year at the company is purely based in the engineering process, helping out on many more projects. I also have the responsibility for ensuring all equipment is calibrated and pat tested. In addition, I also have the additional task of producing the CAD drawings for use in all the projects going through the department.”
One of the things Steven enjoys about this role is the variety - the work he does changes every day.
“It usually involves some sort of project work in which I work with one of the other engineers,” he notes. “I also usually do a lot of technical drawing and testing of systems before the customer comes in to see it in operation.”
Steven’s most interesting project to date has been working on the Simulcast Solar 2 project for Pennine telecom.
“It was the first project where I was in charge and this gave me a great sense of importance. On the travel side of things I go out on site once a month for maintenance at a major oil and gas supplier for the UK.”
Looking forward Steven intends to further his career post-apprenticeship by either continuing his work in the project engineering environment or moving into development engineering.
“I have recently really enjoyed this area, as I have been helping to test the DMR tier 2,” he explains.