Conor Stratton chose a variety of subjects for his A Levels but had already decided he didn't want to go to university. Find out more about his apprenticeship journey and why he knows this was the right decision for him.
What do you do and where do you do it?
I am an electrical fitter in electricity substations across the south and east including London, the Home Counties and East Anglia for Morrison Utility Services. I install switchgear and earthing equipment, disconnect circuit breakers and help to build new substations.
Why is your role important?
My role is integral in ensuring electricity distribution to homes and businesses. The demand for energy is increasing and the development of renewable energy to meet that demand, in turn, places demands on the distribution network. In addition, the growth of the population and demand for housing the south east combines to make sure that I am kept very busy!
Which parts of the job do you enjoy most and find most rewarding?
I enjoy working outside in compounds installing switchgear. There is a lot of problem solving required which means thinking on your feet a lot. There are elements of the job which are more menial and process-driven like panel wiring but I am sure that is like any job.
"I am really pleased that I am working while studying, it is the best combination."
What path did you use to get the position you hold today?
I did not consider engineering at school. I took A-levels in English Literature, PE and History and was certain that I did not want to go to university. That left me with a bit of a gap as I had no clear career in mind or particular industry. I saw a Morrison Utility Services advertisement for an apprenticeship and decided to go for it.
I knew that university was not for me so I am really pleased that having completed my apprenticeship there is now potential for me to study for an HNC. I am really interested in Electrical Network Design so I am working to get the experience and qualifications that can get me there. I am really pleased that I am working while studying, it is the best combination.
Has it met or exceeded your expectations?
It has definitely exceeded my expectations. I did not know what to expect but I am really pleased that there is so much potential for progression.
What advice would you give to the people reading this article who want to work in a similar field?
There are loads of careers on offer in utilities. Do not be afraid to take the plunge and see where it takes you. This industry can suffer from a bit of a negative image of the work being manual labour and low-skilled but it is very different to that. I have experienced plenty of challenges and I am sure I am on a career path for life now.