First Bus - Mechanical-Electrical Apprentice
It’s great that I can earn while learning. I’m being paid to gain new skills which I can use to get a good job in the industry.
First Bus - Mechanical-Electrical Apprentice
My parents were a bit surprised when I told them about the apprenticeship, but I explained that I wanted to earn while learning so I wouldn’t have to worry about college fees.
With an apprenticeship, I can experience work-life while completing a qualification.
I chose an apprenticeship instead of college because I wanted to get more skills before I went into full-time work. My father works at FirstGroup as a driver and he told me about this particular scheme. I went online and read up on it, and it felt like the right choice for me.
I didn’t realise the apprenticeship would be as hands on as it is, but I’ve picked everything up a lot quicker than I was expecting to. So far, we’ve completed a number of jobs on our own, which I didn’t expect to be doing on an apprenticeship. We’ve also done a lot of travelling to London and I’ve seen places I’d never been to before. All in all, the apprenticeship has provided far more opportunities than I thought it would.
I’ve also been able to make the most of my practical skills, which is a key part of this job. At the same time, I’ve been going to college to work on my theoretical skills, which has been a huge help. The support from my colleagues has been absolutely excellent throughout – I couldn’t have hoped for better!
In the future, I’d like to be a full-time engineer and that’s the profession I’m working towards. I think starting out as an apprentice is excellent preparation for full time work. I had to persuade my parents to let me do an apprenticeship as I’d been pursuing a football career, but I think they realised this was the best option for me.
If you’re thinking about a FirstGroup apprenticeship, I would say do it – 100%! It’s given me so many skills already and there’s still so much to come!
I’m more of a practical learner so I felt that an apprenticeship would be more beneficial for me than uni. I like to be working hands-on rather than in a classroom studying. I chose FirstGroup because I have passion for vehicles. My father was a mechanic and I helped him around the workshop from a young age.
My parents were a bit surprised when I told them about the apprenticeship, but I explained that I wanted to earn while learning so I wouldn’t have to worry about college fees. After my apprenticeship, I will have three years’ experience and a qualification which will open doors in the future.
I knew the apprenticeship would be quite challenging, but as time’s gone on, I’ve begun to feel more comfortable. I’ve been assigned a mentor, I have friendly managers and I’m working with a team of fully qualified staff. I find the tasks given to me now much easier than at the start of my apprenticeship. I wasn’t as confident at the beginning – I feel like I’ve learned so much. I think my communication and teamwork skills have definitely improved so I’m better at working in a group, and even my weaknesses such as problem solving have improved.
The support from management and my colleagues has been really great. I feel comfortable talking to them about anything because they’re happy to help and always show me respect.
I would recommend the First Bus apprenticeship scheme because you get to work with a team full of friendly, qualified people, doing different jobs every day. And because you’re earning as you learn, you don’t have to worry about university fees. It’s good having a bit of extra money in your pocket!
I went to college after school and decided it wasn't for me. I'm a practical person and wanted to be working whilst learning, which is why I chose an apprenticeship. I thought that FirstGroup would be an interesting new adventure and the scheme would allow me to look at many career opportunities. So far, I’ve had the chance to learn many new skills and learn more about myself as a person.
Since starting the apprenticeship everyone has treated me like a full-time member of the business. I have worked in the PA team looking after the Executive Directors and also spent three months in the Learning and Development centre in Huddersfield. I really enjoyed the experience as I got to face new challenges and became more confident. In the last year of the apprenticeship my aim is to rotate around the business.
The highlight so far? Completing my Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award. I faced many mental and physical challenges that I never thought I could overcome, so it’s one of my proudest moments!
With an apprenticeship, I can experience work-life while completing a qualification. Wednesdays are college days where I get to focus on my coursework. We also get to do training courses to help us understand our roles and develop our skills.
Throughout the apprenticeship, I’ve had tremendous support from both my colleagues and managers. My line manager has taught me a lot and we have regular one-to-ones to discuss my progress. The other apprentices are amazing and I’ve made lots of friendships with people who want me to succeed.
I’d like to work my way up to Executive Assistant or Office Manager at FirstGroup. The great thing about this apprenticeship is that there are many opportunities and you can explore the options yourself.