We are excited to announce that Keeley passed her Level 4 High Speed Rail & Infrastructure Technician apprenticeship with a distinction.
We spoke to Keeley who is 21, based in Birmingham, and an employee at Arup about her experience as an apprentice at NCATI, discussing how she managed to complete the course through the pandemic, achieve a distinction, and further establish her career in engineering and rail.
Could you describe your journey to becoming an apprentice at NCATI?
“I was always passionate about engineering, having done my work experience at school with HS2. I knew that engineering was the field for me, I just had to find the right place for me to pursue my dream – and that was with Arup, where I joined the rail signalling division and then became an apprentice with NCATI.”
Tell us about your apprenticeship experience
“I remember the first day on campus, I was excited and nervous about how it would all go. I quickly came to enjoy having different students from other companies being on the same course. It was interesting to hear and share our individual experiences in the industry while we were at the college.
I also enjoyed my time with my lecturers: they had first-hand experience of the industry that I wanted to go into, giving me support, feedback and knowledge on how to be successful moving forward. I was able to learn from them and get a feel for the work that I would be stepping into, learning what challenges would come up and what solutions I would have to apply to overcome them. This experience was invaluable and I don’t think I would have found it anywhere else.”
What did you find to be the most challenging part of your apprenticeship and how
did you overcome it?
“I found it difficult to adapt to the changes of studying online when COVID-19 broke out. This was one of the toughest moments throughout my journey of studying at NCATI. However, I received a lot of support from the college: they helped us a lot by making sure that we had everything we needed and made quick changes in the way they delivered content and organised our schedules and classes on Microsoft Teams. This provided stability and structure for us as students when things were constantly changing.”
What was your biggest achievement in your apprenticeship?
“To complete the course! I know it’s obvious but I’m so happy to get to the end. It’s been a long journey, and I’ve worked hard and pushed through to get here to where I am today.”
How did you manage to do this?
“I used the available resources, organised myself and made plans for how I would tackle my assignments and other work. This gave me the strong work ethic that would help me be successful going forward.”
What are you doing now?
“As an Assistant Designer at Arup, I have worked on various projects producing different designs. This includes scheming plans, detailed wiring and signalling designs. However, right now I am currently working on a level crossing project.”
We are delighted to see Keeley pursue a career in rail, and are glad that we were able to be a part of her education and training. Well done Keeley: you’re a very talented young engineer -and we wish you the best of luck in your future!