THE BLOG

Engineering Apprenticeships in the Army

15/03/2013 15:07 GMT | Updated 15/05/2013 10:12 BST

I am Craftsman Hoggarth of 11 Training Battalion Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME). I was born and raised in Redcar, Cleveland. Before joining the Army I went to school and college and achieved 11 GCSE's and 4 A levels. I am currently training to become a Land Systems Technician (fix and maintain the electrical components and sighting systems of a range of equipment - such as the Challenger 2 tank and the Mastiff protected patrol vehicle) and I am seven months into my training at Arborfield.

It was always my ambition to join the Army as a Land Systems Technician in the REME as it was the kind of job I've always been interested in. This was due to the balance between the mental and physical challenge of the Army and gaining a trade qualification. So far in my training I have completed a Common Foundation stage which has covered basic Mathematics, Science and hands on practical skills. I then progressed onto Technical Foundation, which focused on and enhanced the Mathematics and Science skills previously taught. I am currently studying Basic Electronics, which looks at electrical theories and allows me to develop my knowledge and practical skills on electronic circuits and systems. Everything I have done so far is important to my job as it gives me an underpinning knowledge of basic and technical electronic skills as well as developing my practical hands on ability.

I wanted a job which combined the hands on element of working with vehicles and electronics and an active lifestyle where I can get out and about, play sport, and stay fit and active. When I was looking around for these types of jobs there were not that many so when I saw the advert for Army apprenticeships, the fact you get hands on training with some of the latest equipment, civilian equivalent qualifications and full pay plus a guaranteed job at the end I thought I have to go for that.

Joining the REME has been great so far, there are over 8000 soldiers in the Corps and they are essentially responsible for fixing everything. You can train up to work on electronic systems like I am, fixing and maintaining the electrical components for tanks and protected vehicles, or you can become a weapons specialist, avionics technician or a vehicle mechanic.

There are such a wide range of roles available in the REME which makes it such a great Corps to work for. What I love about the job is that you don't just learn to be a technician; you have to be a soldier as well, because one day I might have to find and fix a fault in a Challenger 2 main battle tank in a warzone - in snow, searing heat, rain or mud.

Outside of my apprenticeship sport in the Army gives me a great opportunity to relax away from the classroom environment and meet new people. I currently play basketball for the 11 Training Battalion and REME Corps teams. This allows me to see different parts of the Army and also represent the Army in a civilian basketball league. I have aspirations to play for the Army Basketball Team in the future.

I would definitely recommend this career to anyone thinking about it as it will allow them opportunities to travel, meet new people and gain a trade and qualifications. I am really enjoying my training here at Arborfield and I look forward to the challenges ahead and the exciting career that awaits me.