Joe Farrant couldn't see himself in the average office job for the rest of his life.
Joining the growing number of apprentices at South West Water, he has developed lifelong skills and experience.
Joe, aged 20, from Budleigh Salterton, is currently studying mechanical engineering at South Devon College while gaining practical experience at South West Water’s workshop in Exeter.
“I have learnt so many skills working here which I would never of thought I would even have the opportunity to try,” says Joe.
“I think the best bit is that I can learn from college while applying it to work – giving me a better understanding to everything and making me more focused.
“I’ve learnt a lot of engineering theory. I can weld, confidently dismantle and re-assemble machinery. I have an understanding of new machinery and how it works,” he says.
“I drive forklifts and use lathes to manufacture objects. But alongside this I’ve also learnt a lot of life skills and opened my eyes to the world.”
Joe was one of 16 technicians recruited by South West Water in 2011 to its Drinking Water and Operations Support functions. He was selected from over 400 applications.
“I’d definitely recommend apprenticeships to others as it gives you vital experience,” he says.
“You can go to university or college but you need more than knowledge when given tools and a machine to operate and I am thankful for the guidance and support South West Water is giving me.
“Apprenticeships give you a chance to learn on the job and it opens up numerous opportunities.”
South West Water has now expanded its apprenticeship programme with roles covering procurement, information services, laboratories and training.
The latest vacancy is for a facilities apprentice based at the company’s head office in Rydon Lane, Exeter.
To find out more or apply for this apprenticeship, please visit the National Apprenticeship Service website and search South West Water in vacancies.