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From the runway to the laboratory: becoming a water apprentice

By Anthony Hopkins

We’re celebrating apprentices in the water industry as part of National Apprenticeship Week 2021. Anthony explains how he turned his prospects around after losing his job, starting a new career as a laboratory apprentice at South West Water.

I was hit hard by Coronavirus and lost my job as an aircraft engineer in February 2020. The entire aviation industry was crippled and getting a new job in the sector was next to impossible, so I broadened my horizons and considered an apprenticeship in a new trade.

When I saw the advert for a laboratory apprentice, I leapt at the chance to join a company that supports my local area and the environment. Since starting, I’ve been made to feel so welcome by all the friendly colleagues around the business.

I do have an engineering background, but my knowledge of chemistry hasn’t improved much since my GCSEs. The work environment here and the team have been very understanding of my knowledge level and my colleagues are always happy to explain anything I ask about.

Already I’ve been trained on two analysing instruments, as well as how to mix necessary solutions and to record the results of tests performed. The apprenticeship includes a Level 3 BTEC in Applied Science and one day a week is dedicated to working towards this qualification. I’m learning many new things in my classes and feel very motivated to learn more.

I’m very much enjoying my new role and couldn’t be happier with the way things have turned out. I’m looking forward to a positive career path with South West Water.

Meet more Water Apprentices here and here.