A rail track engineer has told how an apprenticeship at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) kept him on the right track.
Amir Bernasko, 21, secured employment with rail contractor Ganymede Solutions after completing his apprenticeship in 12 months.
He told his story as CONEL celebrates Rail Week from 9-13 October, a national initiative run by Young Rail Professionals that brings the industry together for a week of rail events, visits and talks.
Amir now works as Controller of Site Safety (COSS) for the company and was promoted within 18 months of landing his job as a Railway Technician, having started his training on a pre-apprenticeship with CONEL.
Pre-Apprenticeships are short courses that provide a fast-track onto apprenticeships by training students in essential skills for their chosen career.
“There had been a lot of setbacks in my life, and I was struggling to find work when I found out about the pre-apprenticeship,” said Amir.
“A friend told me about it and I thought it was a good opportunity for me to get a career where I can keep going onwards and upwards.”
Amir was accepted onto the pre-apprenticeship in June 2014 and began his apprenticeship with Ganymede later the same year.
“I gave up my summer holidays, but it was worth it,” he said.
“I was never one to sit in a classroom. I love practical work, so going on an apprenticeship was ideal for me. My teachers taught me everything I needed to know and more.
“The apprenticeship prepared me well. I learnt things that my employer didn’t expect me to know. I now work 50 hours a week full time and have found a career. This is the reality for me now.
“It’s changed my life. It’s shown me if you work hard you can achieve your goals.”
- Last Updated: 12 October 2017