To celebrate Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2017, we are introducing a number of students who are at various stages of their apprenticeships.
Next up is 19-year-old Louis Kerr from Newmilns who is in the first year of his apprenticeship with Watermiser, also based in Newmilns.
Watermiser specialises in water cooling solutions and is the sister company of Dustacco. This is the first year Watermiser has hired apprentices – two in total.
Louis said “I saw Watermiser’s advertisement in the College and was encouraged to apply for it. Obviously it’s very handy for me as it’s local, but they are also friendly people to work for. I’m six or seven months into the apprenticeship now and it’s been very good so far.
“My role at Watermiser is to help make the fibreglass cooling towers. I’ve also carried out welding tasks at Dustacco too, which helps with my college work. But I’m mostly at Watermiser.”
Louis is supervised at Watermiser by Alex Jamieson.
Alex is a big believer in the apprenticeship route and is keen to help Louis succeed in every aspect of the job.
He said “We’re all at the learning stage as this is the first year we’ve ever taken apprentices on. We have three other workers here. It did feel like we had no one coming in behind us to learn the business. So we had discussions and came up with the idea of going down the apprenticeship route.
“The type of work we do isn’t very common around here, it’s very specialised. It does take a bit of learning – not many people know what fibreglassing entails. We’ve not really got machines here, everything is done by hand so it’s labour intensive.
“Louis knows all he needs to do is ask if he’s unsure about anything. We tend to have him observe what we’re doing and then give him tasks to complete. An assessor from the College comes in every three months, and in between that we’ll sit down on a one-to-one basis to see how things are progressing as well.”
Louis added “I can see myself doing this for a long time. The aim when I finish my four year apprenticeship will be to make my way up the ladder at Watermiser as far as I can.”