JTL Blog


Darke & Taylor Apprenticeship Blog: An Update

Darke & Taylor apprentices at JTL staff conference

At JTL, we have long been committed to making the apprenticeship experience as transparent and accessible as possible. It’s the reason why we launched a brand-new blog series last year dedicated to documenting the apprenticeship journey of three current JTL apprentices, Charlie, Jay and Max at electrical engineering company, Darke & Taylor. You can read the first part of our blog series here –  https://jtltraining.com/the-start-of-something-new-introducing-our-apprentice-journey-blog-series/

During the period since the release of our blog introduction, Charlie, Jay and Max have certainly kept themselves busy. Not only have they been working to complete the first year of their apprenticeship at Darke & Taylor, but they even recently made an appearance on an apprenticeship panel event at the annual JTL staff conference on 4th March. Here in this new blog, we catch up with what our three young learners have been up to on their apprenticeship programme, considering both the challenges as well as the support that they have experienced while being based at Darke & Taylor.

 

Darke & Taylor apprentices speaking at JTL staff conference
Charlie, Jay and Max speaking at our annual JTL staff conference

 

Speaking on his experience so far on the JTL apprenticeship programme, Banbury-based Charlie Stratton is quick to draw attention to the amount of growth and knowledge he has already acquired. He says: “I have absolutely loved my apprenticeship experience so far and the amount of learning I have already done is incredible. There have definitely been areas that I have found challenging on the course: part of our college training has required us to use mathematical equations, which is definitely not my strong suit, and there is a lot of trade terminology that you need to pick up.

“The support that I have been given from my training officer, Matt Hyde, and my tutor, James, has been incredibly helpful in that respect, and has meant that I have managed to improve upon a lot of those areas – I can now say with full confidence that I know words like ‘rods’ and ‘notches’ like the back of my hand! There have also been parts of the learning experience that I have found really interesting and taken to quite quickly, like plastic conduits.”

Much like Charlie, Jay has also thrived in this new learning environment, giving credit to the on-site work experience he has gained through Darke & Taylor. Jay says: “I have found the whole experience so interesting; it genuinely never fails to keep me engaged. Although I have found that a lot of the challenges come from the on-site work, I have come to realise that learning on the job is the best way for me to improve and get better. It’s helpful that it links up so much with the learning we do in college, especially the stuff about wired circuits, the process of bending and cutting metal conduits, as well as the fuse board wirings.

“Through Darke & Taylor I have been given the chance to work on a wide variety of projects, from a house in London to an office block in Reading, and on various tasks like conduits, second fixings, and lighting circuits. For me, that has been the most satisfying part of it: seeing your work come literally to life and knowing that you are lighting up homes for so many people. I really cannot thank JTL and Darke & Taylor enough for the constant support and guidance that they have offered me; I feel like I have developed so much professionally, as well as socially, over the past few months and I cannot wait to see where I go from here.”

For Max, the blend of both college training and on-site work experience has provided him with a great step up from school: Max says: “I always knew that I benefited more in a hands-on environment and that the best would never be brought out of me in an office-based job. Being able to therefore learn about the theory of health and safety and Gantt charts or take part in the health and safety practical’s and then directly apply that learning to an on-site job has been an amazing learning opportunity. I genuinely feel like I am learning something new everyday.”

“Although the experience of working further away from home has been challenging, it has also forced me to become more independent and efficient with how I manage my work and my personal life. Both professionally and personally, I think that I have also benefited a lot from being in that working environment, in that I know how to behave and present myself in front of clients and colleagues. Up until this point, I have only ever known school or the world of the traineeship scheme, so the chance to get that blend of both being in college with people your own age and then to be on-site with people of all ages and experiences has been wonderful and has helped give me a completely new perspective.”

Charlie, Jay and Max will be keeping us updated over the course of their apprenticeships so check back later in the year to find out how they’re getting on.

 

Charlie Max and Jay on the job
Charlie, Max and Jay on the job!

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