Reece Marshall, Lift Engineer Apprentice, North East & Cumbria
National Apprenticeship Week 2021
We’re over halfway through National Apprenticeship Week 2021 here at Pickerings Lifts and we couldn’t be more proud of our apprentices. You see, we view apprenticeships as an investment in young people that will reap dividends for Pickerings Lifts far into the future.
Apprentices like Reece Marshall, a Lift Engineer Apprentice, who has been with us for a little over a year.
Reece works out of our North East office, based in Stockton-on-Tees, but might be found anywhere across the North of England, from Northumbria to Carlisle, somewhere in Teesside, Newcastle or Sunderland, and as far south as York.
Hi Reece. Let’s begin with your course. Can you tell us something about that, please?
“Yeah, sure. I’m a Lift Engineer Apprentice, and I’m doing a Lift Maintenance and Repair qualification. Pickerings Lifts had a hand in designing the course, the first in the country, so I’m getting the knowledge first hand, as it were.”
What is a typical working day like for you?
“If I’m with a maintenance engineer I’ll shadow them throughout the day. I’m constantly asking them questions about how different parts of a lift work, such as how the door system works when the lift comes to floor, and how the lift knows where it is within the shaft/ when it is at floor level. [He laughs] I sometimes think I ask too many questions, but the engineers are great. They always say “that’s how you learn”, so that’s what I keep doing!”
What is the most interesting thing you have worked on/memorable experience at Pickerings Lifts?
“My most memorable experience was working on repairs for a whole month, fitting trailing cables into the shaft, and then into a warden call system located within the lift. It was tough work, but it taught me so much in such a short space of time.”
What has changed about your role since the Covid-19 crisis?
“Ah, well, my role hasn’t changed substantially due to the pandemic. You see, other than the obvious changes to PPE and the revised health and safety processes, we’re still engineers… we primarily deal with mechanical and electrical machinery, rather than people. The day-to-day job is the same job.”
How are you finding your studies and work during the pandemic?
“Studies have been slowed due to the pandemic, of course. But this is mainly due to the fact repair numbers have been lower than usual because of the lockdowns and disruption.”
What do you enjoy doing when not working?
“Just like everyone else, I enjoy spending time with my friends. And I enjoy playing video games. [He pauses and laughs] I really do enjoy learning how things work, so I also watch TV programmes on how different types of systems and circuits work. I particularly enjoy learning about how car engines work.”
Investing in young people
We view apprenticeships as an investment in young people that will reap dividends for Pickerings Lifts far into the future. By providing apprentices with the skills and knowledge necessary to work within the lift industry, we are equipping them with a vocation that will help them throughout their lives. At the same time, we’re helping to secure a stable, reliable, and highly educated workforce, trained in the Pickerings Lifts methods and values.
Pickerings Lifts currently has 11 apprentices working for us, and as you might expect with a national company, they’re spread out across the whole of the UK.
Equally, because we install, maintain and repair all types of lifts, and all these activities have to be managed and co-ordinated, our apprentices have a wide range of job descriptions too. Just a few of the apprenticeships we offer include administrators for human resources, business operations and our fleet department. We also have lift engineering apprenticeships in our business streams, lift maintenance and repair, loading systems and escalators.
The Institute for Apprentices and Technical Education apprenticeship training
Pickerings Lifts helped create the new apprenticeship standard that is revolutionising the future training of lift and escalator engineers.
The ‘Level 3 Lift and Escalator Electromechanic Apprenticeship Standard’ was approved for delivery last year, and was the result of a trailblazer group which included Pickerings Lifts, the Lift and Escalator Industry Association (LEIA) and several other companies in the lift and escalator industry.
Rachel Swales, HR and Training Officer at Pickerings Lifts, attended the trailblazer group on behalf of the company, and commented…
“This new standard ensures thorough, high quality apprenticeship training. It results in well-trained engineers with solid foundations set for a successful career in the lift industry.”