Kieron Fitzpatrick lives in the beautiful area of Dunoon, where he's an Apprentice Openreach Engineer. He tells us about the challenges of working in a rural area and all the great stuff he's getting out of his apprenticeship.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
I am a second year apprentice in Openreach and I am 20 years old. My hobbies include football, hill running and going to the gym. I currently coach the local under 13s football team, as my little cousin plays for them.
What did you do before joining Openreach?
I joined Openreach straight from school. While I was at school I had two part time jobs. These were working in a local café, and at a portaloo company at festivals.
Tell us about your day to day job?
My key duties and responsibilities are looking after Openreach’s network. Dunoon is a very rural area to work in and I struggle to get mobile phone signal, which means I can’t always phone for the test systems. The other challenge with working in a rural area is the network is spread around a larger area on single track roads. I repair and sometimes provide telephone and broadband services to residential homes and businesses.
Why did you chose an apprenticeship?
I chose this apprenticeship because it interested me the most, as there are loads of learning opportunities and loads of opportunities to progress. I also joined this apprenticeship as in Dunoon there are not a lot of career opportunities. I wanted to join Openreach as one of my uncle’s friends was the only engineer in Dunoon and he said it was a great job to get into and highly recommended it.
What do you get from your apprenticeship?
From this apprenticeship I will gain a variety of new skills and will gain loads of experience in this career. Buddying was an important part of my training. But it was a challenge, as everyday I had to travel to my jobs from Dunoon to Glasgow.
I started learning the job when I got moved into my own patch as I had enough time to start working on jobs and was able to start understanding the job a lot more clearly. After a few months of working in the Dunoon patch I started carrying out tasks a lot more smoothly and I am able to complete most tasks I am given. Every second Wednesday I have my SVQ day, travelling by ferry to Glasgow. Also, I am currently waiting on getting my frames skilling and my underground skilling, which I am told I will receive in the summer.
What do you consider your greatest achievements and future plans for your career?
My plans for my career are to finish my apprenticeship and gain the technical qualifications. I hope to progress within the company as far as my ability takes me.