How doing an apprenticeship changed my life - British Gas

 

An apprenticeship can be a life-changing experience. On top of meeting great people and getting practical training, all British Gas apprentices have the opportunity to do their Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

Doing their award is a great way for apprentices to develop real-life skills like confidence and problem solving that not only help with the job, but give them an opportunity to to find out what they’re truly capable of.

Here to tell us more is British Gas apprentice engineer, Billie. She’s also shared some of her favourite selfies from her life as an apprentice.

 

Day one out on the road

I was so excited about going to the training academy, meeting loads of people and everything I was going to learn in the classroom training. Applying for an apprenticeship was the best decision I’ve ever made. When I got the call to tell me I was in, I felt like I was dreaming. I still can’t believe it. It was really weird being away from home, especially from my dad as we’re so close – he’s the reason I applied in the first place. But once I got there, even though I felt a bit nervous, I soon settled in.

Billie's diary extract

Teamwork makes the dream work

It’s been great partnering up with people during my apprentice training. You have a laugh when you work as a team and learn skills from each other. I can chat to all sorts of people now, and I listen and tell them what I think without getting nervous – so that’s a big thing I’ve learnt. 

 

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger

One of the great things about the apprenticeship is that I get to do my Gold DofE. As part of my DofE Award  I went on an expedition – it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. The hike was seven hours long!

There were times when I was definitely at breaking point but I just snapped out of it and kept going. You also get to do these teambuilding exercises. It’s amazing how much you can learn in a team and it was really fun getting to know everyone. It was exhausting but a really great experience. It’s made me so much more confident – I know I can do anything I want now. Afterwards, we had to make this big speech to the other groups, which I could never have done before. 

Billie's diary extract

Scout’s honour

One of best bits of the apprenticeship has been the volunteering we get to do as part of the DofE – I got to teach the Scouts how to solder – a skill I learned on my apprenticeship which I’m proud to be able to share with other young people.

I really enjoyed helping out. I think I’m actually pretty good at passing on what I know - it makes you feel good about yourself too.

 

On the job

The journey so far has been one big learning curve. I’ve got new technical skills, made loads of mates and I’ve also learned a lot about myself. I’m more understanding now and a lot of that is down to my DofE experiences. Now when I’m with customers in their home I’ll comfortably chat away – some of their stories are brilliant!  

Billie's diary extract

My brush with royalty

The best part of the job has to be all the people you meet. I love talking to customers and fixing problems for them. My personal highlight so far has to be meeting HRH The Earl of Wessex who was at an event to celebrate 60 years of the DofE Awards and 10 years’ of British Gas being a DofE partner. I thought I was going to be really nervous meeting him but I was surprised at how relaxed I was. He was so lovely in person, really down to earth.

Yep, that’s me with him. 

Billie's diary extract

The whole thing has been such a whirlwind – I can’t wait to find out what happens next!

 

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