After initially moving out of Cumbria to attend university, Bill has now found a better career path with an apprenticeship at Athena PTS in the county.
Dan has a chance to shine at Athena PTS
Daniel Jackson, 20, an Apprentice Electrical Engineer at Athena PTS, lives on Walney
Dan has become an important part of the design team at Athena PTS after taking on an apprenticeship at the Barrow-based business.
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.”
Dan enjoys working as part of a small team at Athena PTS’s second base in Barrow on Park Road, and is optimistic about future career opportunities as the company continues to grow and develop.
“We’re in a small team here and we all get along,” he said. “Bill and I know everyone here and I prefer that to being in a big building where I’d walk past people I hadn’t met before and would never get to know.
“There’s a nice mix of younger and older people here and I feel more mature.
“People are very approachable and willing to help as we know them and they know us. I never feel like I’m wasting their time.
“Once I’ve finished my apprenticeship, I’d like to take a year out of education rather than going straight on to a degree to get used to work and see how I feel and see what opportunities there are then.
“Athena PTS is growing very quickly and it can only continue to grow. I’d like to stay with the company as everything seems to be working well and I really enjoy it here.”
Dan enjoys his spare time in Cumbria and is planning to make the most of living so close to The Lakes this summer.
“I’ve just got a car so I’m planning to go up The Lakes at the weekends and explore,” he said. “It’s on our doorstep but I don’t really know what’s there. I’d like to start doing more things outdoors so that’s the plan.
“You can be just as sociable in Cumbria as you can if you go away to uni.
“I’ve thought about moving away but I can’t see myself living in a big city. When I think about moving permanently, I just want to stay in Cumbria.
“I’ve got a job I really enjoy and I’m happy here.”
Click here to find out more about Athena PTS, a company with diverse capability and broad experience in the design, build, commissioning and operation and maintenance of electrical projects.