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About David : The Apprenticeship

After some hard work applying for an apprenticeship, David eventually won an Electronics Technician apprenticeship at Plessey Radar, Cowes. Initially he was only on the reserve list, however fortunately someone dropped out and David got the job.

The first year was completely based at the Isle of Wight College of Arts and Technology learning all basic engineering skills, as well as taking a Technician Education Council (TEC) course on a day-release basis.

After the first year David won an award as best Technician Apprentice amongst the group of apprentices from a number of local firms at college that year.

Years 2 and 3 of the apprenticeship were spent doing 3 month spells in different departments around site. This was an invaluable experience in getting to know how the site worked and in working with many different types of people.

In year 4 of the apprenticeship David worked as a member of the Watchman Radar project team. For the first time David was actually giving instructions to others, however he was also doing the more normal apprentice tasks of making the tea and coffee for the rest of the project team.

Day release to the tech college continued throughout the apprenticeship; this involved one day and one evening per week of tuition plus homework. In the end David gained a City & Guilds Certificate in General and Electrical Engineering, a TEC Certificate and a Higher TEC Certificate in Electrical & Electronic Engineering. The last qualification was passed with distinction grades and enabled David to apply for a degree place.

David finished his apprenticeship by being awarded Best Overall Apprentice at Plessey Radar, Cowes. The firm were so pleased with his progress that they then sponsored the entire three years of his degree. The only catch was he had to do an extra qualification of an Industial Studies Diploma along side his degree. So no long student holiday breaks but extra coursework instead.

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