From education to employment

Fire Systems is just the Business for WorldSkillsUK Apprentice Jonny

A switch from business to fire systems has proved the right course for Apprentice Jonny Hamilton who is now a finalist in the WorldSkillsUK National Competition for Fire & Security in Dagenham from 14 – 18 November 2022.

Jonny, from Bangor, a Level 3 Fire Systems Apprentice at SERC who is employed by Atlas World said, “After my A-Levels at Bangor Grammar, I started a HND in Business, but it wasn’t for me.   This followed a spell of employment in gardening and retail.   I knew I wanted to progress my qualifications and career options so after a bit of research, I found that the apprenticeship route afforded me the best opportunities.   Although I was initially interested in becoming an electrician, when I discovered more about the specialist fire security industry through SERC, I knew this was the perfect match for my qualifications, skills, interests and ambitions. I secured work with Focus Security Solutions and commenced my Level 2 apprenticeship before progressing to the Level 3.

No stranger to competition, Jonny took first place in the SkillBuildNI competition in June this year which secured him a spot in the National Finals for WorldSkillsUK. Jonny said, “Competitions are great at focussing your skills, experience, and time management – something you have to do everyday out in the workplace.   I am delighted to be selected for the national WorldSkillsUK event and am looking forward to the competition.”

He added, “My mum, Barbara and dad, Robert are buzzing about the competition and me being selected to represent SERC, Atlas World and Northern Ireland.  They are really proud of everything I have achieved. 

He added, “There has been a lot of support and mentoring through the College from our Lecturer Robin Hamill and Advanced Fire Alarm Systems have provided training in preparation for the competition. My employer, Atlas World, has been very supportive and Operations Manager, Paddy Dickson, is coming along to support me at the Final in Dagenham.

“The competition will be testing us on commissioning and fault finding on an Advanced Fire Alarm System.  One of the biggest challenges will be time, which seems to go much faster as you are working under pressure against the clock. However, having been involved in the UK qualifying round, I suppose we know what to expect and it will be great to pit my skills and knowledge against my peers in the industry.”

Jonny completes his Level 3 Apprenticeship this year and is looking forward to being a fully qualified fire and security technician.   He concluded, “My job is enjoyable and there is plenty of variety as I am out and about, working independently on jobs as I advance which involves meeting suppliers and dealing directly with customers, all of which is building my confidence. As for the future? Right now, I am really happy with my career choices, the qualifications and the work – there are plenty of opportunities.”

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