Dan studied an electrical course at Furness College after leaving school and impressed his tutor with his abilities. After deciding on an apprenticeship at Athena PTS, Dan is now enjoying a varied role with lots of responsibility.
“I liked the CAD side of course at college and had planned to do work experience with Athena PTS as I was interested in the company,” he said. “I was coming to the end of my course and my tutor mentioned this apprenticeship opportunity.
“I do lighting design and use software to make a 3D model of a building, put lights in and calculate lux levels.
“People are quite surprised when I tell them what I do because I’m really involved in projects at Athena PTS. I’ve helped developed a windfarm. There’s four of us in our team, so another apprentice, Bill Wilson, and I are half the design team. We do a lot more than you’d expect for an apprentice.
“Our manager Chris has worked to tailor make our course to make it more specific to what we do at Athena PTS.
“I think smaller businesses get more out of apprenticeships, as they can tailor them to be exactly what they need to be for the company. Coming here has made me realise I’m glad to be doing my apprenticeship in a smaller business.
“I’d advise other people to give apprenticeships some thought. When you come out of school, don’t just think about qualifications, think about what you’re going to do with those qualifications afterwards.
“It’s good that Furness College and Barrow Sixth Form College have merged as it will open up more options to people leaving school.
“I think I would’ve regretted going to uni. Getting paid to learn and getting a bit of money every month makes you feel as though you’re developing and progressing.
“I don’t think you’ll ever struggle to find a job here in Cumbria if you’ve got an apprenticeship as you’ve got good experience. If you’ve got practical experience, you’ve got something behind you and more to offer.”