Coating Operatives Q and A for National Apprenticeship Week
As we come to the end of National Apprenticeship Week 2024, it’s the perfect moment to shine a light on our KAEFER team who have embraced continuous learning and professional development.
At our client site, Hinkley Point C (HPC), Coating Operatives play a crucial role in safeguarding infrastructure integrity. While there’s not currently a traditional apprenticeship route for Industrial Painters, KAEFER UK & Ireland’s Coating Operatives have embarked on a bespoke training journey for upskilling and career progression.
We caught up with Neil Matthews and Corey Wilcox, both currently undertaking the Coating Operatives development course, to gain insights into their motivations, lessons learned, and the impact of their training journey.
Q1: What motivated you to become a Coating Operative and to progress to Train the Painter (TTP) Gold?
I joined HPC on a TTP Bronze card, I was an internal transfer and wanted to come and work at HPC to further progress my career. Previously, I was an Insulator for KAEFER UK & Ireland, and I wanted to build my skills within the paint industry.
I started my career as a General Operative on site for KAEFER UK & Ireland. I wanted to further my ability to advance within the industry and it means I get to be involved in the blasting and spraying. The pay, and gaining a qualification was a great incentive.
O2: Can you share a significant lesson you learned during your journey from Trainee to TTP Gold?
I am currently working towards achieving my TTP Gold card. The encouragement given by blue and black hats has been vital for me progressing, plus the help of the experienced operatives that are already working on site.
I’ve learnt how much health and safety must be taken into consideration throughout training to achieve my gold card.
Q3: How do you feel your skills have developed?
My skills have developed extensively having worked alongside experienced men within the industry, making me want to progress onto TTP Gold.
Loads, I’ve learned new things, such as different methods of painting. I’m now very confident in blasting and further developing my skills as a sprayer.
Q4: What advice would you give to someone considering a career as an Industrial Painter?
Go for it, especially young people looking for a career. There is a lot of longevity and opportunities to work in other areas of the country.
It’s a good trade to be in, you can advance as much as you want to. There are many sectors looking for this type of skill, such as the Offshore sector. Once the job is completed at Hinkley Point C, there are further prospects of continuing industrial painting at Sizewell C too.
Q5: Reflecting on your experience, what was the most rewarding aspect of your achievement?
To be able to achieve TTP Gold well into my prime and advancing to this achievement has been the most rewarding aspect to further advance my career to the highest level whilst working for KAEFER UK & Ireland.
I’ve now achieved the highest level of qualification within the industrial coatings industry. KAEFER UK & Ireland have supported me throughout my training journey from start to finish. Our in-house trainer for TTP, Mike Gove, has provided me with an abundance of knowledge to allow me to achieve this.
Are you ready for a new challenge? Explore our current opportunities today and kickstart your career.