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This month Simon Banks talks to Luke Wadsley of PWP Fire & Security, Nottingham. Having completed his apprenticeship in 2020, Luke is now a fully qualified engineer.

How did your career in the Fire & Security sector begin?

Upon leaving school I initially did my first year of A-Levels at a local college. I enjoyed learning but didn't want to continue at college or go to university. I then started a few odd jobs to get into the working world before someone at my local Taekwondo club, who works for PWP, suggested I give the sector a go! I was one of two apprentices joining PWP from the club.

I wanted to learn something and make a career, whilst also earning a salary. I didn't know much about the industry as you don't hear about it at school. I decided to dive straight in and since then I haven't looked back. I also encouraged my younger brother to follow in my footsteps, and he has now joined PWP and is completing his apprenticeship through Skills for Security.

Can you tell us more about completing your apprenticeship and what has happened since then?

I started the Level 2 apprenticeship in July 2016 and completed it in April 2018. I then joined the Level 3 apprenticeship program (part of the FESS Trailblazer) in August 2018 and completed that in December 2020. Since then, I have continued my work at PWP and competed in the Engineers of Tomorrow competition in 2020, finishing 3rd in my heat.

The company has rewarded my loyalty and continues to support me, offering me new ways to continue progressing and additional training courses to enhance my knowledge and understanding. I received my company van the year before I qualified, as well as a full set of tools and a company phone. No doubt earning and learning has enabled me to purchase my own house at the age of 21 – before most of my friends had even finished their university studies!

Why has this industry kept your interest?

Every day is different and there is so much to learn. I can safely say that I've never had a boring day and I enjoy the variety. That's what grabbed my attention on day one and continues to motivate me now. The diverse disciplines such as Fire, Intruder, CCTV and Access Control and the aspects within each of these including installation, service, commissioning, fault finding, there is just so much to get involved with and learn. Today my role includes many investigations to identify faults and issues, which I find interesting and I enjoy the challenges. I am constantly learning and with technology advancing all the time, there is always something new to learn.

How is technology impacting the life of a young engineer?

There is no doubt that as apprentices or young engineers, we have an advantage when it comes to the IT side of the business, especially the use of laptops and phones. We use these every day to complete our testing and to log all our work. Some of our older engineers will have more experience in some ways, but we can complement this with how quickly we can learn and understand new products. It's created a great mix in our team, and we can support each other to improve what we do every day.

YOU SAID IT!

"CSL provide the one-stop solutions that we require to aid confidence and peace of mind for our customers and business alike."

Maxi Fire & Security – Facebook – 14 March

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