From education to employment

Work Experience Leads to Apprenticeship at SERC for Jamie

Jamie Rusk (19), a Level 3 Fire and Security Systems Apprenticeship NI at South Eastern Regional College employed by Digital Fire and Security in Lisburn.

The opportunity to do work experience at school has led a young man to the apprenticeship route and a career in the fire and security systems industry.

When Jamie Rusk (19), from Lurgan was completing his GCSEs at Craigavon Senior High School, he knew he wanted to progress his studies and to do something practical. Jamie said, “I had the opportunity to do some work experience through a family friend who worked in the fire and security industry.   He knew I was interested in doing something practical, and he recommended the apprenticeship route, with the Level 3 Fire and Security Systems Apprenticeship NI at South Eastern Regional College (SERC).

“After my GCSEs, I secured employment with Digital Fire and Security in Lisburn and I  attend SERC’s Lisburn Campus one day a week to complete the apprenticeship qualification.   My employer is very supportive of my studies and if there is anything I need as part of the course they get it sorted.”

“The apprenticeship route really suits my style of learning.  I wanted to progress, but I knew I wouldn’t stick being in a classroom for the next 4 or 6 years.   A typical day for me now means learning on the job. I am out and about with one of the engineers dealing with door access, CCTV and intruder alarms, mostly in a commercial setting but we do some residential work too.”

Jamie who is now in the third and final year of his Apprenticeship said,

“I am keen to complete the qualification and build on my work experience.   Some friends who have completed the same Apprenticeship have gone out to Australia on a working holiday visa for a year.  It is something I might consider myself, but I am keeping my options open.”

The young man also took part in a number of competitions this past year. He said, “It was great taking part in Skillbuild NI and the International Fire & Security Exhibition Competition (IFSEC), the latter in London.   I enjoyed the experience and meeting other apprentices from different colleges as well as people in the industry.   The competition in London gave you an insight into the latest technology and the scale of the sector.”

Keen to promote the apprenticeship route, Jamie concluded, “If you know what industry you want to work in, then I would encourage any student to find out if there is an Apprenticeship connected to that sector.   This pathway makes perfect sense if you are keen to earn while you are learn and you are practically minded.”

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