Nico Breviglieri is currently studying one of our unique degree-level apprenticeships, merging higher education with practical, hands-on experience.
What made you choose an apprenticeship with us?
At the time, I was working as an operator here on Appleby Frodingham Coke Ovens when I decided that I wanted a career change, I was working on my BTEC level 3 in engineering on my days off when this opportunity came up. I originally had an interview for the electrical apprenticeship but then received a phone call a couple of weeks later to come back and interview for the degree apprenticeship, which I was later offered a position. It’s a brilliant opportunity, as well as earning money I’m also receiving training that would usually cost thousands. In five years’ time, I will be a fully qualified electrical engineer.
What work have you been doing within the electrical degree apprenticeship?
Initially we began with the domestic side of electrics, learning about consumer units, MC’s and cable diversity. At the minute, I’m working on wiring within a panel simulating the sort of things we will be doing on site. I’ve just completed a traffic light circuit which was great figuring out how it all worked and the real-world applications it had. My next task will involve stripping a motor, testing it in order to see if it is safe for use and then re-building it.
With regards to the “degree” side of the apprenticeship, it’s mostly theoretical work and calculations, although we have started working on small circuits in electrical principals, creating attenuators and measuring their values with an oscilloscope.
What’s the structure of your degree apprenticeship like?
It’s 5 years altogether. I spend 4 days a week at the training centre and 1 day in college, which will all change come September.
The HNC takes 2 years to complete, after which I’ll spend a year doing my HND, and then finally onto my Bachelor’s degree in years 4 and 5. Alongside this I will also be working on plant taking part in 6-monthly rotations, learning my trade.
What are your prospects of progressing after your apprenticeship?
Once I’ve finished my apprenticeship I hope to be taken on by British Steel. From here I will look to firstly becoming an incorporated engineer, then a chartered engineer which will hopefully show British Steel my commitment to the point where they might consider funding my master’s degree.
What advice would you give to any young people considering a career here?
I’d tell them what a great opportunity this was and that this kind of experience and training won’t be found anywhere else around here. It is a far better option that university and there are plenty of chances to progress within the company. The tutors have a great understanding of their individual trades and are very helpful.