Published 6 February 2020.
Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) is celebrating the talent of its workforce as part of National Apprenticeship Week (3-9 February, 2020). Today hear from Tanya Dickson.
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Getting the job in the first place has been the proudest moment of Tanya Dickson’s apprenticeship so far.
After years working in offices, the former learning services co-ordinator wanted to try something completely different. Tanya is now a first-year marine engineering apprentice studying at Cornwall College’s Engineering Skills Centre in Plymouth.
“My last job wasn’t really challenging my brain enough,” said the 26 year old. “I wanted to try something completely different and do something that made a difference.
“I went onto the Civil Service Jobs website and came across this particular apprenticeship. I’m a little bit older, so I didn’t think it would apply for me.
“I just thought I’d try something new, something challenging. Being a woman, I think it’s quite important to break stereotypes and get involved in jobs like this as well.
“Filling in the application, reading the job description and what kind of qualification you receive at the end of it, I didn’t actually think I’d even be able to get into it.”
“I just thought I’d try something new, something challenging. Being a woman, I think it’s quite important to break stereotypes and get involved in jobs like this as well”
Tanya and her fellow students have been brushing up on maths and mechanical principles and she has been selected for the electrical stream of the course.
In years two and three, she will have the opportunity to go on work placements and when she passes all her exams she will end up with an HNC in marine engineering, NVQ L2, L3 and BTEC in engineering.
“I think it’s a different apprenticeship to a lot of other ones,” added Tanya. “DE&S really provide tailored training, which has been really good. I think all the staff have been supportive and, as a company, the benefits you receive for working with them are great.
“The pay is a lot better than other apprenticeship schemes I’ve noticed. Being older and having more commitments, that’s important.
“Just working for the civil service, you do get a lot of benefits such as flexi time, which give you a really good work-life balance.
“And, at the end of the apprenticeship the actual qualifications you get are fantastic.”
Although it took a while to settle back into an educational environment, Tanya is loving it and absorbing all the knowledge and expertise she can.
“There are lots of opportunities to try different things and there are lots of different career paths around the country,” said the former Saltash Community School pupil.
“There’s ships, submarines, air vehicles… I just think there’s a vast number of opportunities and lots of different areas we can get into, and with the qualifications you get you can do anything with them. It’s been really good.”
DE&S has apprenticeship programmes opening throughout the year. For more information, click here.