What is it like to be an apprentice at Wessex Water?

We recently caught up with Rising Star award winner Josh Gatton to learn a bit more about life as an apprentice at Wessex Water.

Josh talks about how he came across the opportunity, what the role involved and how the company has supported him beyond his apprenticeship.

Tell us about how your journey at Wessex Water began!

Josh: “Soon after relocating from Johannesburg, South Africa to the UK, I did my A levels in physics, psychology and product design. Halfway through my studies the school organised a trip to a careers fair where I first learned about apprenticeships.

“Apprenticeships were unheard of in South Africa and the more I learned the more they appealed to me.

“I then saw Wessex Water were advertising apprenticeships at their careers fair at Claverton Down in Bath, so I attended and met some members of the Engineering and Sustainable Delivery (ESD) Mechanical and Engineering team, who guided me towards applying for a higher apprenticeship in engineering.”

When did you start your apprenticeship?

Josh: “I joined Wessex Water in August 2018 on a two-year apprenticeship, which consisted of working within the ESD team for four days a week and studying Level 4 Project Management at Weston College for one day a week.

“Having come straight from school, I was soon put through my paces to try and understand the processes that were involved in the fascinating world of water treatment.

“My learning curve was accelerated at an early stage after being invited to a week-long HAZOP (Hazard and Operability Study) for the Durleigh water recycling centre (WRC) refurbishment project. Something must have stuck as I have been lucky enough to spend the last two and a half years on the project.”

Apprentice At Durleigh
Josh at Durleigh WRC during the refurbishment project.

What happened after you completed your apprenticeship?

Josh: "In August 2020 my apprenticeship came to an end, which resulted in me obtaining my IPMA Level D qualification in Project Management.

“As a result of completing my two-year apprenticeship, I was lucky enough to be interviewed for the role of Assistant Project Engineer. Much to my excitement, I was offered the role.

“Alongside my new role, I have been fortunate enough for the company to put me through a two-year HNC Mechanical Engineering course at Bath College. This will allow me to further develop my engineering knowledge and hopefully progress my career within the company."

What have been your highlights since you joined the business?

Josh: “Apart from working within a very supportive team on the Durleigh WRC refurbishment project, the highlight of my time at Wessex Water has to be winning the regional Rising Star award at the annual National Apprentice Awards.

“Even though we weren’t able to celebrate at the black-tie event due to the pandemic, our amazing Early Careers team made it a memorable occasion.”

Apprentice reviewing pipeline instrumentation diagram
Josh reviewing the piping and instrumentation diagrams for a works package at Durleigh.

What are your plans for the future?

Josh: “Looking forward, after completing my HNC Mechanical Engineering course at Bath College, I would like to take on the role of Project Engineer, and in the next five to ten years, the Project Manager role greatly appeals to me.

“I am currently working towards obtaining my EngTech accreditation with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) which is a big step towards becoming a chartered engineer. This would be a major life achievement for me!

“After spending the last two and a half years working on the Durleigh WRC refurbishment project, the excitement of not knowing what to expect at work has still not worn off and I am looking forward to many more enjoyable days as my career progresses at Wessex Water.”

Outside of work, what are some of your hobbies/interests?

Josh: “I am interested in anything motorsport – this is where I believe my love for engineering stemmed from. I used to prepare my motocross bike for race weekends and I'm currently helping a friend who is restoring an old Mazda MX-5.

“Some of my other hobbies include creating videos, as well as using a drone and GoPro. I enjoy the thrill of action sports, so the two work perfectly together.”

Find out more about our apprenticeship, graduate and placement opportunities on our Early Careers page.