We are excited to announce that Obi passed his Level 4 High Speed Rail & Infrastructure Technician apprenticeship with a merit.
We spoke to Obi who is 39, based in Birmingham, and an employee at Amey about his experience as an apprentice at NCATI, discussing how he managed to complete the course through the pandemic, achieve a merit, and further his career in rail signalling.
Could you describe your journey to becoming an apprentice at NCATI?
“I was already working in the rail industry as a Signalling Design Engineer at Amey, and was really keen to upskill myself so that I could learn more about different aspects of my role and the sector more broadly. I spoke to Amey about the different training opportunities available to me, and they gave me a range of options. I decided on the Level 4 High Speed Rail & Infrastructure Technician apprenticeship at NCATI, as with its focus on HS2, digital rail, and future technologies it felt like the best opportunity to futureproof my knowledge and skills.”
Tell us about your apprenticeship experience
“I really enjoyed my apprenticeship at NCATI: the lectures were interesting, and we also had the opportunity to go on various trips and site visits, which expanded my knowledge of the cutting-edge technology used across industry. While I specialised in the Command, Control and Communications (CCC) Advanced Technician pathway of the apprenticeship, I felt I developed a good foundational knowledge of other aspects of the industry – this has really helped me when attending interdisciplinary meetings at the workplace, where I now have an understanding of what other departments and roles are discussing and focusing on.”
What did you find to be the most challenging part of your apprenticeship and how
did you overcome it?
“Like many people studying during this period, I found doing an apprenticeship during COVID-19 quite challenging – particularly as I had small children to look after at the same time as studying and working! Luckily the College was really supportive, extending assignment deadlines and making sure to record all teaching in case any of us weren’t able to attend on the day. There were certainly points towards the end of the apprenticeship where I found it difficult to continue, but I reminded myself of all of the hard work and effort I’d put in, and the sense of achievement I’d get on completion. I’m very glad I stuck it out!”
What was your biggest achievement in your apprenticeship?
“Aside from my apprenticeship result, and the fact I achieved a distinction in 3 of the 4 assessment areas, my confidence has grown considerably over the course of my apprenticeship: I used to really dislike public speaking, but since doing presentations as part of my apprenticeship, I feel much more comfortable talking and presenting ideas in front of my colleagues.”
What are you doing now?
“I am looking to take the next step in my railway signalling career and am applying to become a Principal Engineer – where I will be responsible for more complex signalling designs.”
We are delighted to see Obi take the next step in his career in rail, and are glad that we were able to be a part of his upskilling journey. Well done Obi – we wish you the best of luck in your future!