My name is Colm McElhill and I am a mechanical maintenance fitter in the CAE mill, I started in Balcas four and a half years ago as an apprentice maintenance fitter.
I completed my Btec and NVQ level 3 in Engineering which took two years to complete before progressing on to a Foundation Degree in Engineering which took a further two years to complete. I am now progressing on to do a BEng Honours Degree in Engineering.
I enjoyed my apprenticeship as I was earning while learning, not only in the college but also within Balcas, giving me the hands-on experience mechanically, which is required in this profession. Balcas paid for my courses which helped a lot financially because this means, after all my education is finished I have no student loans or bills to pay back which is a big plus side to an apprenticeship.
Every day is different which I really enjoy as nothing is repetitive and the new skills I’ve learned along the way have really developed my interest in the job. Balcas has also provided training for various other extras such as Tele-handler, MEWP/cherry picker, Scaffolding etc. all of which further enhances my CV.
When I was leaving school, I wasn’t quite ready to go down the university route so I would advise anyone in the same boat to consider an apprenticeship as a means of furthering their education while working in a hands on environment.
To learn more about #Apprenticeships please contact our HR Department or visit NI Direct