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Sam Kirkwood
Apprentice Electrician

"Meeting new people, gaining experience and the bonuses have been the best things about my apprenticeship."

When Sam Kirkwood’s dream of becoming a professional football player came true, his sights were firmly set on the football pitch. But aged 19 when his five-year contract with Bournemouth FC came to an end, Sam knew he needed a new career goal.

“I came straight out of school into professional football so I didn’t get the chance to do A-levels and when I got released I wasn’t sure what my options were,” said Sam.

“I did sports-based courses whilst playing football, but I knew the theoretical side of sport wasn’t for me. I needed a practical career so my dad encouraged me to get a trade under my belt,” said the 20-year-old.

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 In fact, Sam’s dad was a hugely positive influence and he encouraged his son to look into an apprenticeship at Clarkson Evans. “My dad cut out an advert for an apprentice electrician role at Clarkson Evans which he found in our local newspaper and encouraged me to apply.”

“Now I’m nine months into my apprenticeship and loving every minute of it. I get on really well with my team leader, in fact we are planning to go on holiday together!” said Sam, who is based at the company’s Southampton branch.

But the former St Mary’s College student admits it’s hard work. “Apprentices are expected to roll their sleeves up and work just as hard as anyone else, doing whatever it takes to get the job done.”

“The biggest challenge of my apprenticeship so far has been the ‘Christmas rush’ when things get especially busy on site. The hours are long and the weather is cold, but the camaraderie with the other trades makes the days go quicker,” said the ex-
footballer.

“Meeting new people, gaining experience and earning bonuses have been the best things about my apprenticeship so far,” said the team player.

And Sam’s advice for budding apprentices: “Stick with it and don’t give up, it will be worth it when you qualify. I really think I’ve netted a role with huge potential for long term career progression.”

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