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Apprentices are the Future of our Business

January 21, 2022
At Ocean Kinetics, supporting the Shetland community is particularly important to us.

So, at the very heart of our business, is hiring local people and offering apprenticeship opportunities to successive generations.

Recruitment through apprenticeship has proved to be particularly beneficial for both the individuals and the company: they are excited to learn, rich in ideas, and add a fresh perspective to the projects that they work on. Our apprentices often go on to become some of our most dedicated and hardworking staff.

Meet Gary Sutherland, just one of our former engineering apprentices who has now turned a full-time welder/fabricator at Ocean Kinetics.

Explain how the apprenticeship worked (how many years, practical time versus study time?)

I spent my first year at the NAFC marine centre in Scalloway learning about welding/fabrication, mechanical and electrical engineering. Then I was mostly practical based for the following 3 years, learning off trades men in the workshop and onsite at various jobs. During this time I was shown and trained how to operate the machines in the workshop and how to weld with different types of materials and techniques. During this three years I had college days which I had to write and hand in reports about projects I had carried out at work, related to the course. Once I had completed all that was required, I was awarded with a level 3 modern apprenticeship in fabrication and welding engineering.

Interview with former engineering apprentice

How would you describe your apprenticeship at Ocean Kinetics?

I would describe my apprenticeship as, challenging, interesting, enjoyable and hands on. There are never 2 days the same which keeps you focused and interested. I have learnt copious amounts from some fantastic tradesmen and met a lot of new people throughout. I was given plenty of opportunities to learn and put on courses to operate specific types of machinery for all kinds of jobs.

How is health and safety measured at work?

Health and safety is taken very seriously, whether its onsite or in the workshop. This can be tiresome but has to be done. All types of PPE are mandatory and provided by the company. Risk assessments and method statements for jobs and courses are organised for you to attend to ensure you can operate and carry out tasks correct and as safe as possible.

Do you have any advice for any young people who are considering an apprenticeship?

I’ve always thought apprenticeships are a great way to gain a qualification and you get paid for it at the same time. Depending on the situation of the job you are in and how well you perform throughout your apprenticeship, you are more as likely to get offered a job at the end of it. Apprenticeships have a lot of practical time at work which I find is the best way to learn too. So for anyone that tells me they are looking to do an apprenticeship I say they can’t go wrong with it and to go for it! 

Do you have a particular highlight from your apprenticeship?

Meeting David Cameron has to be one of the main highlights. Not someone I thought I’d ever meet and especially not at work. Other highlights have to be working in London and Felixstowe. I’ve been given amazing experiences, meeting new people and the chance to see new places while at work. The annual works doo usually has a few highlights, but probably not for talking about!

What’s your work goal/ambition?

I’m still learning something new every day, so to continue with that and to pass my knowledge/skills to current apprentices. I’d also like to work with bigger projects and push for higher roles on jobs and in the company.

For more information on apprenticeships, please do not hesitate to get in touch:

Paul Wilson
paul.wilson@oceankinetics.co.uk
T: 01595 697 902

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