National Apprenticeship Week: Meet Dave Brown

To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week 2023, and the theme of ‘Skills for Life’, we’ve been chatting to some of our former apprentices to find out a bit more about where they started their career journey, and how their apprenticeship has helped them grow into the role they’re in today.

Next up is Dave Brown, one of Intelect’s first ever apprentices. Dave was one of two apprentices hired when we first launched our apprenticeship programme back in 1998, and since then he’s gone on to hold a variety of roles within the business and remains a great asset to the team.

Here’s what he had to tell us…

  1. Please tell us your name and job title?

Dave Brown, Health and Safety Advisor, formerly an Approved Supervisor Electrician.

  1. How long have you worked at Intelect for?

This year will mark 25 years of me working for Intelect.

  1. Did you complete an apprenticeship, and if so, what was it in?

I started an electrical apprenticeship back in 1998, and was in Intelect’s first apprentice cohort.

  1. Are you glad you chose to go down the career route of an apprenticeship?

I have no regrets about the career choice I made, as it gave me the knowledge and experience to succeed not only in work but in my home life too.

  1. Were there any challenges in your apprenticeship journey?

Adjusting to working life was initially difficult. Coming straight from school was a big eye opener into the real world for me, but over time, and thanks to patience from the people I worked with, I eventually found my feet and settled in.

  1. Would you recommend people to do an apprenticeship, if so, why?

100% I would recommend an apprenticeship to anyone, and I will to my kids when they’re at the right age. An apprenticeship gives you the base to be anything you want in life, whether that’s an electrician, carrying on your education to become an engineer, or even a career change like I have. You can also complete all of your training and learning while earning money to enjoy life too.

  1. What is your favourite part of your job?

I enjoy the challenge of my new role and being part of a great team. Every day I learn something new, either in health and safety or engineering, and that’s all thanks to the projects I’m involved in and the people I work with.

  1. How have Intelect supported your learning and development throughout your career?

Without Intelect’s support, I wouldn’t have had a career. In the early days, if there was ever something I was struggling with, either at college or on site, there was always someone to ask who would give me their time and show me what to do. I was given my own jobs from an early age, and that really helped grow my confidence – I always remember being told by a mentor “don’t rush, do the job right and the speed will come”.

As I’ve got older, Intelect have continued to support me, even giving me the opportunity for a career change into health and safety, building on my existing knowledge and experience. Giving me training and guidance and being part of a great team has in turn given me the drive to want to help our department grow and be successful.

  1. Would you change anything about your apprenticeship/career journey?

I wouldn’t change anything about my apprenticeship, as I believe everything worked out really well for me. Now that I’m older, and maybe a bit wiser, I sometimes look back and think I could have done more to help the next generation of apprentice’s and pass on the knowledge I was given. Reflecting back, at the time I was young and focused on getting the job done, earning money and having a laugh, not teaching or taking the time to help the younger apprentices out. You learn from your mistakes which is all part of your career journey, and now I really enjoy passing on my skills and knowledge to the future generation with the hope that they do too.

  1. Do you have any aims for the future?

I want to carry on with my training in my new career and take that as far as possible, as well as help our health and safety department grow and be successful.

Since the launch of their apprenticeship programme in 1998, Intelect have successfully trained over 150 apprentices in Middlesbrough, with half of them still working for the business today. Read more about their apprenticeship programme here.