Ethan Quinn is 20 years old and is currently working through the 3rd year of his Apprenticeship. His initial pathway was on Service but he has recently switched to Modernisation and Repairs, which involves heavy repairs and new modifications to lifts. Ethan chose to change pathways as he finds it a lot more interesting and hands-on. Being on the Modernisation side means that he will always see new technology. He said, “I’m always gonna see the new upgrades and how it’s getting better. On the new side, there’s a lot more looking at drawings and wiring up new panels, ripping old components out, wiring up new ones, and fitting new ones. So, yeah, it’s great.”
When leaving school, Ethan wanted to be an Electrician and then he came across a Lift and Escalator Apprenticeship. It appealed to him as you could experience Electrical work and Mechanical work, so it was the best of both worlds which is an aspect he liked. Lifts and Escalators move our world and Ethan is a perfect example of a young person who is helping to keep them running safely and reliably, using some of the most advanced technology in the world. This is an exciting, fast-growing industry that’s at the leading edge of engineering. We recently had the chance to chat with Ethan about his experience as an Apprentice so far and here’s what he had to say…
What made you apply for an Apprenticeship?
When I was leaving school, I wanted to be a Sparky. So I was looking down that line and I saw this. You could get a bit of Electrical work and you could get Mechanical work as well. So it was the best of both worlds and I liked that aspect of it.
Is there a lot of variation?
There’s a lot more looking at drawings and wiring up new panels and ripping old components out, wiring up new ones, fitting new ones. So, yeah, it’s great.
Were you always interested in doing Engineering?
Yeah, in school, I think in less than six years, I had done Construction work, from Joining to Bricklaying, to Painting. I’d done Metal work, Higher Design and Manufacturers. So it was always kinda around that area of Engineering.
What skills are most important to have as an Apprentice?
Maybe not even a skill, but just to be interested. Being interested is a big thing. If you are interested, the people that you’re working with see that you’re interested, then are more willing to teach you stuff. I think that’s a big part of it.
Do you work alongside one person or multiple?
It was always, maybe I’d work with one person for a week at a time or maybe a couple of weeks at a time. And then you get switched to someone else, and work with them for a couple of weeks.
What are your day-to-day duties like?
At first, I didn’t have a work vehicle, so I would drive my car somewhere and then get picked up by someone and then I was on Service, so I would just kind of go around different sites with whoever I was with and just kind of watch them. But the first two years were mostly observing and watching, trying to get the gist of everything. And then after that, you try properly to get more hands-on yourself and take the work on yourself. More chance to go do things on your own and stuff like that. So it’s a bit of freedom as well, which is nice. For the last year and a half, I’ve been out working myself on the Service side. So got new sites myself and did all the jobs, which is good.
Did your training help prepare you for being left on your own?
I think so. Yeah. I wasn’t going and getting chucked in the deep end or anything. I was getting an easier job to start with. And f I didn’t know, it was just a phone call away to an Engineer and they would try and help you with the basics. If it was drastic enough, they would come and help you. I think it was quite good, the skills I’d learned before that definitely helped.
What skills would you say you’ve learned since your Apprenticeship?
I think even just the ways of doing things because obviously, every company is different, but with Kone, there is a specific set way of doing things on our Service. So it was going out and just kinda remembering the ways that the guys had done it. So, it wouldn’t be a specific skill, but just watching and learning those first couple of years, you kind of try and take in as much as you can. It’s kinda when you’re there yourself, you’re like, I need to remember all this. That’s about paying attention, so.
How did you manage to organise your time while working and learning?
The first two years were pretty tricky because I was at work and then every Tuesday I did day release at college but you just set times for it. You try to do your work straight away. So you’ve got the rest of your time free. I would say it definitely just take all the knowledge that you can, to get your work done as fast as you can and then you can properly move on to learn all about the job.
What benefits are there to doing an Apprenticeship?
If you’ve been in an Apprenticeship for four years, people above you will know your manners and stuff like that. By the end of it, they probably should know where you want to go with your job or where you want to progress. So I think that maybe makes it a bit easier for them. They might have you in mind when a position opens or something as you’ve been here for four years, know the company, etc. So I think doing an Apprenticeship, I think to bring a lot of benefits.
Do you work with all ages and how would you get along with the people that you work with?
Everyone’s older than me. The two guys I work with have been in the job for almost 40 years, so they’re the best in the business. Before I worked with people in their mid-twenties, and I’ve made quite good pals with a few people as well that are closer to my age. But no, it’s good. I’ve not come across anyone that’s bad to have a relationship with. Everyone is willing to help you and teach you. But you need to seem interested as well. If they see that you’re not bothered with the job, you just see it as a job, they might not even bother with you. I’ve been told stories about that in the past. People are not giving it to them. So they’re not gonna try and teach ’em over the top or that. So, Yeah. You make better relationships that way as well. If you seem interested and start having a chat about something, then you make good relationships.
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