As we’re in National Apprenticeship Week (5 – 9 March 2018), we thought we’d put the spotlight on our hardworking apprentices who are such a valued part of our business.
Yesterday we met Rebecca Henry, and today we’re chatting to Jack Thomas, 21, from Seaton Sluice. Jack joined Tharsus in 2015 and is in the third year of his electro-mechanical apprenticeship.
Jack has quickly become an integral part of the team here at Tharsus and has demonstrated an outstanding talent and natural ability for understanding and working with mechanical and electrical systems. His skills were recognised when he received a ‘highly commended’ accolade at the regional heat of the EEF’s Future Manufacturing Awards in the Intermediate & Advanced Final Year Apprentice Award category.
What were you doing before starting your apprenticeship?
Before starting at Tharsus I went to sixth form, studying maths, chemistry, physics and business. When I completed my studies in 2014 I was unsuccessful in securing an engineering apprenticeship so as an alternative I went to Northumbria University to study a BEng (hons) in Mechanical Engineering.
In summer 2015 between my first and second years of the course I decided that university wasn’t for me and I was getting impatient to start my career. I heard about Tharsus from someone who was already working for the company. When he told me there were apprenticeships available I applied for one straight away.
Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship over the other options available to you? Had you considered doing anything else and what helped you decide?
I chose an apprenticeship because of the level of experience it gives you over a conventional degree. When I was at university there were 150 other students on the same course who would all be applying for the same jobs, at the same time, with the same skills and the same experience. I wanted to know that I would stand out.
Getting real-life practical experience whilst studying a degree level course allows you to fully understand what is being taught and apply the theory to real life scenarios.
What appealed to you most about working for Tharsus?
Tharsus appealed to me because of the wide variety of jobs you can work on, there’s not very many companies that are involved in this many different industries. Tharsus will also support and allow you to develop post apprenticeship to get you where you need to be.
Describe your typical work day…
My typical day varies a lot. Currently I’m tasked to our new products coming into manufacture. This involves validating the builds, dealing with the issues and creating relevant documentation. I also do a lot of jumping from job to job to help out our current cells. From building test equipment to fault finding, every day is different.
What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned from your apprenticeship so far?
The most valuable thing I’ve learned is not to be afraid to work hard as this is what it takes to get you where you want to be.
Is there anything unusual or surprising you’ve learned that you weren’t expecting to?
The most surprising thing I’ve learned during my apprenticeship is how a company works. At Tharsus we move around quite a lot to get a feel for all the different parts of the organisation and how they all operate and interact. It’s not something I expected to learn about but it’s been extremely useful.
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
In two years’ time I’d like to have completed my apprenticeship and successfully achieved a degree in electrical and electronics engineering. I’m still learning about exactly what I want to do and where I’d like to go longer term with my experience and qualifications, so I can’t say for sure about five years!
If you could talk to anyone considering taking on an apprenticeship, what would you advise them?
I would advise them to go for it, it will be the best thing they could do!