We caught up with another of our young colleagues, apprentice Ellis Beech, who has been with us for the past five years. Ellis follows in the footsteps of his grandad, Russ , who was a well-respected member of the TCE team, and who also started as an apprentice (although at ICI).
Busy working whilst studying for his professional qualifications, we chatted to Ellis and quizzed him to find out more about his role, apprenticeship and studies.
Ellis, tell us a little bit about your role at TCE.
I’m a High Voltage (HV) technician based out at the Lostock site. In a nutshell, it’s my job to operate and maintain the HV distribution network and associated HV assets across all three TCE sites and the Enterprises site. It’s quite a specialist role due to the knowledge and experience required to maintain and operate the switchgear safely and in line with company HV safety rules and routine maintenance procedures.
Why did you want to do an apprenticeship at TCE?
I was keen to get into engineering after school and I knew I wanted to work while I studied. After finishing my A-levels at Sir John Deane’s Sixth Form College I joined TCE at the age of 18 and five years later I’m still here! I’ve been doing my apprenticeship for the past three and half years and have enjoyed the opportunity to get hands-on experience in such a field, while also working towards some qualifications. I know first-hand the opportunity that there is to progress here, my grandad started off as an apprentice himself and progressed all the way up to engineering manager - I hope to have a similar career path.
Tell us more about these qualifications you’re working towards.
The qualifications I am working towards are a Maintenance and Operations Engineering Technician (MOET) standard apprenticeship which has been electrical biased, which includes a Level 3 BTEC in Engineering and a Performing Engineering Operation (PEO). I’ve also completed a Level 3 NVQ in Instrumentation and Control through TTE, and a variety of training courses including a high voltage maintenance course through PPL training as well as a control and instrumentation course with MCP technical training, both are accredited by City and Guilds.
What do you like most about working at TCE? What’s the culture like?
There’s a and encouraging culture here, which as an apprentice just starting out is something that I've really appreciated. From the moment I started here I felt welcomed and included. Everyone went out of their way to make me feel like a valued part of the team. There’s also so much opportunity to develop and learn, whether that’s building on skills you already have or learning totally new ones.
What are your plans for the future?
My ultimate goal is to become an HV distribution engineer. I’m excited to fully qualify and am keen to further my existing HV by gaining experience and working towards even more qualifications.
Finally, what would you say to someone considering applying for an apprenticeship at TCE?
I’d say – what are you waiting for? I couldn’t recommend an apprenticeship at TCE enough! Not only are you working for one of the leading chemical manufacturers in the country, but you’ll also be given ample opportunity to gain valuable qualifications and real-world experience.