Although it’s great to talk to our current apprentices, we also think it’s important to get insights from members of the Direct Air team who are now thriving in their roles after successfully completing their apprenticeship courses.

Today we’re talking to Jack, we last discussed apprenticeships with him back in 2020 within our ‘A day in the life of… an engineering apprentice‘ blog post. Keep reading to learn more about Jack and hear about his progress in his own words.

About Jack

Jack joined Direct Air in 2017 as an Engineering Apprentice. Whilst completing the apprenticeship, Jack was working and learning alongside Direct Air’s Service Engineers. After the apprenticeship, Jack gained some experience and explored different areas of the business such as Pipefitting. During this time Jack realised that working in the Installation Engineering department was a better fit for him. In order to support National Apprenticeship Week this year, Jack is going to tell us a bit about how he’s getting on now.

Can you tell us about the different types of education and courses you've completed?

During my first few years at Direct Air I worked hard to complete my apprenticeship and achieve my level 2 and 3 qualifications in electrical and mechanical maintenance. Following this I did the level 3 NVQ practical skills course straight after my apprenticeship, which was very important for my future development, especially when I transitioned from a Service Engineer to Installations Engineer.

More recent achievements include getting my Site Supervision Safety Training Scheme (SSSTS) certification as well as gaining my Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) Gold card.

How did your apprenticeship help to get you where you are in your career today?

Entering the working world through an apprenticeship provided me with core engineering skills and deeper knowledge about how air compressor machines work. I gained this knowledge through a combination of servicing compressed air systems to fulfil the practical side of my apprenticeship and working through weekly lessons at college for the theory. Working hands-on with the machinery whilst servicing meant that I got to know the parts of different compressors well, which widened my understanding of electrical and mechanical maintenance to help me when it came to displaying my learning on paper in my assignments.

Completing the apprenticeship meant that I was able to go on to gain my level 3 NVQ, without this qualification I wouldn’t have been able to enrol onto the vital courses that needed to including SSSTS certification and CSCS Gold card. Qualified Installation Engineers are required to have SSSTS certifications and CSCS Gold cards to work on-site independently, therefore without this I’d be restricted to progress in my career.

What is your favourite achievement so far?

Moving from being a Service Engineer to Install Engineer and completing installation training is my favourite achievement because it has provided me with such versatile skills. Although servicing isn’t what I ended up doing, I’m still glad that I worked in the department because it means I’m now a multiskilled engineer which gives me flexibility. With my installation training I’m now capable of installing different types of equipment including ducting for heat recovery and pipework for hot water heat recovery. As well as ventilation for heat management, catering for the environment that is housing the compressed air system as well as installing the complete system itself.

Also, receiving my 5-years of service award from Direct Air’s MD Allan Dolby at the company’s 30th anniversary event is up there with one of my favourite achievements. To be acknowledged for how far I’ve come felt really rewarding and gave me motivation to reach the next milestone – 10 years!

What are you looking forward to in the future?

Having certifications such as SSSTS, paired with my experience and knowledge, means that I’m able to supervise and manage my colleagues on-site during projects. This is specifically helpful for mentoring apprentices, as they are able to come to site with me to learn the ropes. I’m looking forward to continuing to develop my role further and provide useful knowledge to future apprentices who join the Installation team at Direct Air.