Tyler Minter has endured many sleepless nights during his Rail Engineering apprenticeship.
But it’s not understanding the technical training or the thought of assignment deadlines that are keeping him awake, it’s being the proud dad of an 18-month-old baby girl.
Tyler, 24, worked briefly as a machinist for an engineering company after college before enrolling on a BEng (Hons) Aeronautics and Astronautics at university but he left after a year.
For a while he stepped in to help with the family business selling vehicles for a couple of years, during which time his fiancée Nicole became pregnant. But a week before their daughter Elsie-Rose was born in March 2021 a change in his family’s circumstances meant Tyler was forced to find a new job.
Keen to find a career that would provide a stable future for his family, Tyler began to look at apprenticeships.
“I wanted something with career progression, something that was especially important knowing I was going to become a dad,” said Tyler, who lives with his family in Stondon Massey near Brentwood, Essex.
“I found Alstom and started the long process to get in. I had lots of interviews and tests and was delighted when I was successful and got taken on to do a rail engineering apprenticeship.”
Elsie-Rose was born in March 2021 and three months later Tyler started his Rail Engineering Level 3 Apprenticeship with Alstom and the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL).
Alstom is a global rail engineering company that constructs and undertakes maintenance of trains, signalling and other rail infrastructure, and employs 75,000 people.
Tyler’s apprenticeship initially involved nine months of training at CONEL with a salary of £20,000 a year before spending four days a week at a rail depot and one day at college.
Tyler has just started his second year and is now a huge advocate of apprenticeships and the benefits they offer to those looking for a career.
“I love the fact that I’m learning while also getting hands on experience,” he said.
“I’m gaining knowledge that is vital to the job and also putting it to use in a practical sense. I’m also not getting into debt like a lot of people who go to university do, and I’m earning a good salary.”
Undoubtedly, juggling the demands of having a young child and studying has its challenges at times and Tyler has been grateful for the support and encouragement he has received from his tutors.
“When Elsie-Rose needed to go to hospital in April, I called the college and work and explained the situation and they were fantastic. They extended the deadline for my work allowing me more time to complete it.”
Tyler’s apprenticeship offered a guaranteed job on successful completion of his training, which has given him an added incentive to do well.
“As a dad having job security and a future career is a huge draw and is one of the reasons I picked an apprenticeship. We’re also eligible for a pension and private healthcare, things that really matter when you’ve got a family.”
Tyler’s achievements earned him an Excellence Award from Capital City College Group (CCCG), which includes CONEL, along with City and Islington College, Westminster Kingsway College and Capital City College Training.
The UK rail industry is facing a massive skills shortage. In 2020, City & Guilds and the National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR), revealed 120,000 new workers were needed by the end of the decade.