Niall Lyons, rail apprentice with Morson Training, spoke with us about the progress of his apprenticeship so far and how he came to join the course in late 2020.
“Before I started doing the apprenticeship with Morson I was doing what I actually thought was an apprenticeship doing carpets for people. Then I found out it wasn’t an apprenticeship where I can get a qualification or anything like that from it.”
Despite his negative experience of doing something that resembled an apprenticeship but that really promised him nothing, Niall was still committed to the concept.
“I wanted a career where I could make my parents proud and something that could eventually last me a lifetime. It’s a lot better for me than getting into debt and going to Uni. I recommend a lot of people get into them, it’s a great choice.”
Niall goes on to talk about what he has enjoyed the most about the course so far:
“I find it very inclusive, with a lot of the other apprentices and everyone is friendly and helpful. The tutors are nice, and they help you with everything. It’s a good work/life balance in there too. People help you with things going on at home in the same way as with work. The apprenticeship I was doing before, the hours weren’t good. Sometimes I’d be off four of the five days and only work on the one day to earn money then. Here I’ve been working for six or seven weeks straight earning money every day. It’s a lot more structured and a lot better for me.”
Apprenticeships aren’t without their challenges, and there was one specific one for Niall, but the experience has proven supportive and compliant:
For me it’s been the coursework. I’ve never really done anything like writing up assignments but with the tutors and the people in the room that you’re with, they always there to help. So far the experience with Morson Training been really good. They’re really COVID-conscious so everyone is always two metres apart everywhere you go in the building. It’s a challenge and with people travelling to work and getting public transport its always a risk but you always get your temperature checked as you enter the facility. I’d rather be doing that than working in someone’s house doing their carpets.”
Niall is keen to encourage anyone to join up to an apprenticeship who thinks they might want to embark on one:
“I’d tell them to do it. As of yet I’ve not really done much on the railway but all the people I’ve spoken to seem to enjoy the work. It’s a great career to get into and it’s a great thing to do to further your career. If you’ve got a chance to take one then definitely do it.”