Knowledge Centre

BEL Valves welcomes two new apprentices

BEL Valves welcomes two apprentices to the business. Luke is studying a Quality, Health and Safety (QHSE) apprenticeship, the first of its kind in the British Engines Group, and Jay is embarking on a fitting apprenticeship.

We caught up with Luke and Jay to hear about their time so far…

When did you start your apprenticeships?

Luke: I started my apprenticeship at TDR Training in September 2021 and came to BEL Valves in March 2022.

Jay: I trained at South Shields Marine School from September to December 2021, and joined BEL Valves in January 2022.

How has your apprenticeship been so far?

Luke: I’m really enjoying myself! Everyday I’m learning more about the product, how the business runs and the health and safety side of things, which I had little knowledge of before I started.

Jay: It’s really helped me develop a good work ethic. Luckily we have a lot of support here and they really know what’s best for us to learn.

Craig, my manager, has been great to work with. He listens to my ideas and understands that I’m keen to gain experience in a lot of different areas of the business. He also lets me take time out for my college work, which is really helpful.

Why did you apply for the fitting apprenticeship, Jay?

Jay: I was made redundant from my previous apprenticeship, which made me think about my future and what I wanted to do. I heard from various people that the British Engines apprenticeship scheme was one of the best in the North East, so I applied!

Were you able to carry what you learnt over to your new apprenticeship?

Jay: My last apprenticeship was in Mechanical Maintenance and gave me experience in engineering, welding, milling and hand fitting. I really enjoy taking things apart and putting them together, which lead me to apply for this apprenticeship.

What about you Luke, why did you apply for the health and safety apprenticeship?

Luke: When I finished my A Levels I was searching for a new challenge. I knew I wanted to do an apprenticeship but I wasn’t sure what to do it in. I saw the advert for the health and safety apprenticeship and thought it sounded interesting.

What have you been up to so far?

Luke: I’ve been helping with the key risk cards and completing risk assessments. I’ve also been learning how to use the group’s planning system, IFS, which is challenging at times!

Jay: In the last three months I have been helping in the stores department to complete stock checks. I have previous experience in carrying out stock checks so I was happy to help. I’ve also completed my Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) qualification, which has helped me branch into other areas of the business.

What do you enjoy most?

Luke: I enjoy learning about health and safety from my colleagues. When you are new to the business, the experience of the workforce is very helpful.

Jay: I enjoy learning new techniques and feel there is always an opportunity to learn at BEL Valves. Also what Luke said, the people have so much experience and are always willing to help.

What do you find most challenging?

Luke:  I’ve found the planning system, IFS, hard to get my head around at times.

Jay: I’m with Luke, IFS is challenging. I also find fitting in general quite challenging. My mind is blown when I look at a drawing for the first time!

How has the transition from college to the workplace been?

Luke: The transition has been really smooth actually. I was eased in at first and I wasn’t overloaded with work, which is good!

Jay: I already gained part of the qualification in my last apprenticeship, so I didn’t have to stay at college very long. I really enjoy the academic side as well as being hands on. I actually do night classes for a HNC in Advanced Engineering in my own time.

What are your future plans?

Luke: I’m hoping to complete a National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH) qualification. It’s a well recognised qualification and I think it would help me in my role.

Jay: I’d love to go to university and progress in my career. That’s my ultimate goal!

Are you looking for a new challenge? Applications for the British Engines Apprenticeship + scheme open January 2023.