James Hollingham, Science and Technology Facilities Council

James has secured an apprenticeship with STFC (Science and Technology Facilities Council) in electronic engineering for when he finishes his sixth form studies at UTC Oxfordshire.

What was the process you had to go through to get considered for the apprenticeship?

“Once I applied online I was invited for an interview where I had to go through multiple tests to gauge my ability. It was a mixture of practical, but mainly written, tasks.” 

When does the apprenticeship start and how long does it last?

“It starts in September and lasts for three years, although I am hoping they will take me on afterwards.”

Do you know what kinds of things you’ll be learning?

“For the first year I will be doing a BTEC as well as an NVQ. I’m not sure what it will entail after this as I think they decide based on how your first year goes.”

What made you decide this was what you wanted to pursue?

“I like the more practical approach that an apprenticeship offers. I enjoy the fact that I won’t be in debt after going to university and will get paid instead! I feel as though there are more secure job prospects from an apprenticeship and you get work experience which I think it essential when looking for a job.”

What are your plans for after you have finished your apprenticeship?

“I don’t know my long term plans for the future, but my short term goal would be to succeed in my apprenticeship and hopefully progress within STFC afterwards.”

When did you join UTC Oxfordshire and what made you decide to join?

“I joined in September 2015, mostly because I wanted to do the BTEC course in engineering and A-level Maths. I could have done a BTEC at another college in Abingdon, where I live, but I didn’t want to as they wouldn’t allow me to do A-levels alongside a BTEC course. This was the only college that allowed me to study exactly what I wanted.”

Are you glad you decided to join the UTC and do you feel it has helped you prepare for your future?

“Yes, I’m 100% glad that I came here. I would not have the grades that I have now if I hadn’t come here. The support from teachers is excellent and this what really helped me to achieve my full potential. As STFC are partners with UTC Oxfordshire it definitely helped me to get the apprenticeship. If it wasn’t for the connections, I probably wouldn’t have applied for the apprenticeship. The UTC helps raise awareness of apprenticeships and aids you in things like creating your CV and applying for an apprenticeship that suits you.”