New Apprentices welcomed to help maintain the University Estate

At the start of this academic year, Imtech, our partners in maintaining the Estate, welcomed two new apprentices into their team for the first time at the University of Lincoln.

Joshua Swannack, 24, and Thomas Howarth, 20, have been working across campus to complete their qualifications in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering respectively.

Pictured: Tom and Josh in their Engineering uniform, dark blue shirts. There is a grey brick wall behind them.

Pictured from left to right: Thomas Howarth, will be completing his Level 2 Mechanical Engineering Apprenticeship for four years and Joshua Swannack, studying Level 3 Electrical Engineering, will be here for two.

We spoke with Tom and Joshua about how they’ve found the first few weeks of their apprenticeships.

How are you finding your apprenticeship role?

Tom: I really enjoy it. It’s something I can fully get stuck in with. It’s four years and then after that, I’m set for life. We’ve come into it knowing nothing, but the team have been really understanding. There’s a big team of us and everybody knows their stuff. I did two years working at the LPAC and got used to the campus itself but it’s a whole different thing now.

Josh: It’s going well, and I feel like I fit in. In my first week, working on site for the first time with a bunch of new guys was a bit daunting but my buddy, Richard, he’s a nice guy and has helped me a lot. I was a student here, so I know the campus. I loved my time here and I like the University itself. Now I’m back here, working for them!

What’s the most interesting job you’ve come across so far?

Josh: I’m working on Emergency Lights at the minute with my buddy Richard and we had to wire four bulkhead lights. They were all connected on the same circuit and we had to feed loads of cables through on these rods. We kept getting the cables lost, three times in a row, so we had to keep going back and back, putting them through. But we got it done and that was quite satisfying.

Tom: I’ve done a lot already but the most challenging job for me was when I fixed a fan and fitted a new one in the Isaac Newton Building. It’s a small thing but it was up in the roof. Trying to get your head in, your arms in, taking the cover off and something apart that you’ve never seen before… but I had Steve with me, telling me what was what. I got it in and it worked first time.


Pictured: Josh working on a mock-up of the wiring of lighting in Courts.

What are you hoping to come out of this apprenticeship with?

Josh: When I’ve done my Level 3, I’ll be a fully qualified Electrician. I’m hoping to work here for as long as possible, it’s the perfect job for me. I’ve lived in Lincoln most of my life and I’ve got family here. I want to stay here for quite a while.

Tom: I want to just work my way up as much as I can really. For me, this is four years where I can just settle down and get sorted. I’ve got a lot of goals; to get my gas certificate and to try to become a Chartered Engineer.

Over the next year, we’ll be checking in with both Josh and Tom to see how they find working at the University in their chosen fields.