Dylan Sanderson and Josh White explain what it’s like to be a Liberty apprentice
Dylan is an 18 year old doing an electrical engineering degree apprenticeship and is in his first year of five.
“I’ve always liked engineering. I made stuff for my mates like go-karts when I was younger and then I did resistant materials in school and decided I liked it. I did engineering at college level and once I finished there, thought I’d get an apprenticeship.”
“All my family members do office jobs—no-one does any manual work! There’s loads of lads so it’s a good atmosphere to work in. Working wise, I think the instructors are good and teach what you want to know and don’t blabber on.”
On his choice of further education, Dylan said: “I was deciding between a straight degree at university and just a normal apprenticeship. When I found out about degree apprenticeships, that made my mind up because I don’t have any debt and I get paid by Liberty. It was just a better option really.”
On a future role at Liberty, he explained: “One place I wouldn’t mind going is the high voltage department for the electric arc furnace at Rotherham as it looks interesting. You’re dealing with about 40,000 volts so you’ve got to be careful!”
Josh is a fully qualified mechanical engineer, who is 22 and has been with Liberty Speciality Steels for six years since starting the apprenticeship. He is now also training to be an electrical engineer.
Josh said: “I don’t know if Liberty wants to multi-skill people in the future—a lot of companies nowadays like to see multi-skilling—so I thought I’d put my name down for the electrical training. I won’t be an electrician but I’ll have some knowledge. For example, if one of the electricians in our five man team is off sick and the team needs some help, at least I can offer some knowledge. The company opted to put me and two other guys on this course and pay for it. They look after us in that regard. It makes you a better engineer.
On the benefits of shift work, Josh said: “Even though I might look tired and worn out, working shifts—days, nights, afternoons—is the best way to learn! That’s when I’ve had big jobs and enjoyed getting involved with some projects. My apprenticeship was good but now that I’m into the job properly, shift-work has been the highlight. The money also helps the enjoyment of shifts but you have to work for it!”
“I support Sheffield Wednesday and play 9-aside football on a Monday night,” Josh said of his life outside of work, adding that he might have even made it as a footballer, if it wasn’t for his preference for doing other things when he was younger.
“When I was younger, I had my chances but I’d prefer to be on my bike outside the front of the house. That was my attitude to it. But you don’t understand when you’re eight years old.”