I'm 18 and for the past 2 and a half years been an Instrument Electrical apprentice for a large oil company. We were in a training centre for the 1st year and due to lack of structure in the program I learned very little. I have now been on site for the past year and a half.
In that time I have achieved my practical qualifications (SVQ Level 3) in less than a third of the time allocated. I also attend night school 4 nights a week for extra credit which will count towards a degree.
As an apprentice I am expected to sweep the workshop and accompany tradesman on jobs. In the end I do not want to be a technician I want to progress through management.
Since I arrived on site I took on various roles of my manager and engineer. Starting with their procurement duties. Which was "a small ball for them and a big ball for me". From there I moved on to researching replacements for obsolete equipment, procuring and installing them.
One week I was thrown a fast ball and 2 remedial works projects wee thrown at me, at once ( I had never done any remedial work at all, except from our day to day maintenance. Also the work was on systems I never even knew existed).
The scope of work consisted of 3rd party vendors travelling from across seas, which costs us a bundle and I only had a weeks notice. One was completed successfully at the time, the other is still in progress awaiting specialised materials. This type of behaviour was unheard of in my situation, with an "apprentice" being given responsibility to deliver. As a result the tradesman were in uproar and not happy at all, this is a problem I have to contend with daily as I am essentially carrying out a role one grade above them, and my position is below them.
At present I am sitting with 2 projects. One to replace an existing analyser on site (Est £30 000) and another to install a complete new analyser system (Est £500 000). I am carrying out a feasibility study at the moment and on approval of estimated costs. I will be expected to project manage both projects. As well as this I have existing smaller projects on the go, which require my attention.
Due to the time it takes for me to involve myself in what "should be an apprentices role" and also carry out project work. I have had to essentially delegate the procurement role to my tradesman (who are a level above me). Ironic, Isn't it !
Due to my low paid wages as an "apprentice" I also have a second job. I am a bar manger in the largest night club in Scotland. I am required to manage at least 6 employees in a fast moving, high paced and sometimes stressful environment. This is not my main occupation however and I am planning on progressing my career in the oil industry.
What I'm looking for is some advice. Possibly for the youngest member of manger tools. On how to take my career forward and progress up the ladder to be the most effective manager I can be. Whether at the moment it's project and later on director.
"Hey maybe even Mike and Mark would maybe take me on as their apprentice and see how far they could progress me."
Thanks for your time