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Eddie Manion

Age: 18, apprentice plant mechanic, Bachy Soletanche, UK

Route to the job
I applied to the CITB, did some tests and was then I invited to attend an assessment centre with Bachy Soletanche. Here I met everyone, did some practical tasks and was interviewed. I applied for a welding apprenticeship, but the company thought I'd be more suited to the plant mechanics course and offered me an apprenticeship in this area. I'm currently working towards an NVQ Level 3 in plant maintenance.

Typical day
I was one of the first modern apprentices the company took on and over the last three years they've looked after me very well. Now I get to work on the really big plant machinery like piling rigs and cranes. I replace components, work on hydraulics and electrics, and I enjoy working with the experienced fitters. The job is really varied. You get to touch on lots of different work aspects. For example, I do welding, work on electrical, fuel and hydraulic systems.

Highs and lows
College was a bit daunting at first, being away from home, but I soon made friends and started learning new skills. It was strict, but not like a boot camp or anything. Now I really enjoy the job - I love it!

I'm now back at college working towards my level three NVQ and from there I am hoping to go further and do a higher-level engineering course. Bachy has given me great experience, I've spent time on Heathrow T5 which was fantastic for meeting new people and working on a real-life project!