Jake Whitwam – Jointer Apprentice

Jake Whitwam – Jointer Apprentice

Jake, 19, joined Freedom Group’s Networks business as a jointer apprentice, based in Normanton, in September 2017. His apprenticeship involves him working in a heavily controlled environment with experienced cable jointers to disconnect, connect and replace low voltage (LV) electrical underground cables, which are often live, on behalf of Northern Powergrid.

Why did you choose an apprenticeship?

I’ve always been interested in how electricity works so when I left school I went to Leeds College of Building to study as an electrician. Halfway through my second year I heard about the apprenticeship scheme at Freedom which sounded like an amazing opportunity.  I felt that it would be the best way for me to gain the knowledge and skills to become a qualified cable jointer so I applied.

Which parts of the job do you enjoy most and find most rewarding?

I enjoy the combination of going to College in Manchester where I study over a four to six week period, with the on-the-job experience at Freedom working with qualified jointers who can show and tell me about the trade and the correct way of doing things.

How important was it for you to earn a salary while you were learning a new profession?

I think it’s important to earn a salary. Whilst I was studying at Leeds College of Building I was also working night shifts in a warehouse to earn money to pay bills which was quite challenging.  Through my apprenticeship I’m still earning money but I’m also learning and gaining a professional qualification enabling me to better myself for the future.

Is the apprenticeship exceeding your expectations?

Yes without a doubt! I’m extremely happy with the training and mentoring I’m being provided with to learn a trade that I’ve always been interested in. I believe it’s the best possible path to take to learn a trade.

Would you encourage others to follow in your footsteps?

Yes definitely! An apprenticeship enables you to learn and be trained in a job that will set you up for life whilst also earning a wage – to me it’s a no brainer!

Where do you see yourself in the future?

To be a fully qualified cable jointer in LV and HV cables.