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Starting out in engineering.

Shane Odie recently won the first ever award of Scottish Foundation apprentice of the year at an awards ceremony in Glasgow held by Skills Development Scotland. The foundation apprentice is a relatively new programme that allows students to remain in school completing academic qualifications while at the same time doing college work and undertaking work placements with employers and embarking on the first steps of their career in industry. Shane undertook training at NAFC in Scalloway, Shetland and completed work placements at Morrison construction and Ocean Kinetics in Lerwick.

He made a really good impression during his time with us and we were delighted to offer him a level 3 modern apprenticeship on completion of his foundation course.

Shane sat down to answer a few questions about his apprenticeship and his time with Ocean Kinetics this afternoon.

Why did you choose to go on a foundation apprenticeship?

I was looking at different options and had an interest in engineering and the foundation apprentice allowed me the flexibility to combine this interest with completing my education. It also helped me see that a career in engineering was something that really appealed to me.

What were the benefits to you of this kind of course?

It learns you about so many different aspects of working that when it comes time to try for a modern apprenticeship you are ready to start with most of your basic skills in place. This is beneficial both for myself and my employer. It also helps you adjust to time keeping and taking more responsibility so it’s just a good way to prepare you for joining the workforce.

How did Ocean Kinetics help with your training?

When I was on placement Ocean Kinetics gave me exposure to many different types of metalwork engineering. One of the experienced workers would always take me through things and make sure I knew what to do properly and safely so I got a lot of personal support on my placement.

What aspects of engineering do you most enjoy and why?

Fabrication and welding.

Are there any areas that you would like to specialise in?

Not sure yet. Still learning about all the different skills.

What advice would you give to anyone at school who would like a career in engineering?

Definitely try a foundation apprenticeship. It will show you what it’s like and will help you make up your mind if this is a career for you or not.

Who has been an inspiration to you in your career so far?

Competition with my brother. I always want to get one up on him.

What could be improved about engineering training in general?

It would be good if there was more information available about all the different disciplines and skills you learn in engineering. This would maybe attract more folk to it. It’s a bit hard for young people to know what goes on inside companies like Ocean Kinetics. I hadn’t realised what a varied job it could be.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Football and athletics. Although I have been out of action with a knee injury for several months.

Favourite film?

Fury – Brad Pitt

Favourite music?

Pop music

Favourite food?

Steak

Interview with foundation apprentice of the year Shane Odie.