Life as an Apprentice

We’re big fan of apprenticeships and have seen great success here at Protec. In fact, many of our colleagues started out as young apprentices and have worked their way up through the business. But what’s it like to be an apprentice at Protec? Well, in this article, we will ask some of our current apprentices the question, so let’s find out!


We recently sat down with some of our trainees who’ve been with us for quite some time. We wanted to know what they do every day at Protec and their future plans. We also learned about their daily tasks and what they look forward to in their careers.


Young Protec Production Apprentice


Name: Charlie
Job Role: Apprentice Electrical engineer
Time with Company: Since June 2021


How are you finding life at Protec?
Yeah, it is as good as it can be. It has been interesting in the first two years, Where I was getting used to the products, but now I have moved on to bigger tasks like fixing returns, which helped me improve my electrical knowledge by carrying out fault finding, and I’m now also taking on more responsibilities around the shop floor by PAT testing and also doing the maintenance on the flow soldering machine.

What would you like to progress to?
I’m really open to trying anything. I want to look around the business and see what options are available to me, as it means I can wait to see which job would be the best fit to continue my career.

What does your college work entail?
I’m doing my HNC and I attend Nelson & Colne College one day a week and we have different units we work through. In the next year, I will finish my HNC and hopefully move to my HND, and the tutors have also been really good.

You mention your HND; is that something you look to progress onto?
Yes, definitely, I hope so. I will get a little taster of the HND next year at college, so I’m hoping that goes all right and I can carry on with it.

Young HR/Payroll Production Apprentice


Name: Aimee
Job Role: Apprentice Business Administrator (HR & Payroll)
Time with Company: Since June 2023


What does your daily role consist of?
Daily I work with the payroll department to collect any data, and I help with the engineer’s time sheets and also assist the HR team with any tasks they need carrying out when they ask.

What college do you go to, and when do you attend?
I don’t attend college. I do my apprenticeship with Nelson & Colne College, but all my training is done in-house, so a tutor comes to see me every 6-8 weeks and will give me reviews and set me more work to go on with.

What do you want to progress with after your apprenticeship?
So, I want to progress as far as I can when my apprenticeship ends. I want to see what I like and what I can become within the company.

Where do you see yourself in a few years time?
In a few years’ time, I’ll hopefully have my qualifications under my belt and with a new job title. I am happy doing what I’m doing now, but I would be happy to explore other departments I love a challenge, so if I get the opportunity, I would love to look at other roles.

What’s your end goal?
I would like to see myself in something in the accounting or business side of things, maybe business marketing.




Test Room Manager former Protec Apprentice



Name: Sam
Job Role: Test Room Manager
Time with Company: Since July 2013


How did you start your apprenticeship, and what did it consist of?
I went through the same development path as Charlie, starting in the test room with a day release in college. I worked across many departments on the shop floor in my time as an apprentice, such as the interface line, manufacturing, and soldering lines. Then, as I progressed, I moved on to higher-range product testing, such as the aspirating units and testing the special builds, before then looking at export products and repairing returns.
Beyond that, I moved onto a supervisor role in the test room, which then developed into a manager role, now seeing me look after the apprenticeship scheme I underwent, allowing me to make minor tweaks and changes to the scheme to help the new apprentices develop further.


What can you say about the apprenticeship?
Well, as part of the apprenticeship, we want people to understand that there will be some mundane tasks in the first year or two, this is part of coming into working life. But this is all to build your foundations, as this will stand you in good stead to move on to bigger and better things as you progress.




Young Protec Projects Admin Apprentice


Name: Lauren
Job Role: Apprentice Business Administrator (Projects)
Time with Company: Since July 2023

What is your favorite part of your role?
Site, definatly going to site, when I’m dropping kit off and stuff like that.
I also enjoy looking at the jobs and seeing where the profit is and if there is any losses – see where the losses are and why we are losing.

What sites have you attended?
I recently dropped some kit off at Alder Hay Hospital and Keele Wharf in Liverpool. I’ve also been doing drawings and working behind the scenes for Salford Royal and Manchester Met.
Hopefully, in May, I should also be starting at Manchester Airport, where I will be assisting the project manager for that job.

How do you want to progress with after your apprenticeship?
I’m looking to start an advanced apprenticeship with UCLAN in the summer in business management. I wanted to do project management, but the business management course also includes project management. Doing this will hopefully open more doors in the future.

Where do you see yourself in the future with the company?
Well, in five years, I hopefully have my degree, and that could be a fire PM. I like the fire element more as we make all our own kit, so I think that’s more interesting as I can see where it’s coming from on the shop floor to the installation and commissioning of it on site.



Do you want to be an apprentice?

If you or someone you know is considering a career in engineering or construction, we have some exciting news for you! Our apprenticeship program is open all year round and offers the opportunity to gain all the essential qualifications while getting paid.

Check out our apprenticeship page for all the details on how to apply and get started on your journey to a fulfilling career!