Apprentice Story

Alex Spencer

Building Services Engineering Apprentice

About Alex

Vital Energi are delighted to be recruiting 20 new apprentices this year, and their first recruit is Building Services Engineering Apprentice, Alex Spencer, who joined the team in January.

We’ve asked Alex a few questions about his experience so far, and as well as finding out what an apprenticeship at Vital is really like, Alex tells us about the exciting project he’s working on, providing an insight into the levels of support on offer, and what to expect working at Vital.

Tell us a little about your current role at Vital
I’m in my first year as an Apprentice Building Services Engineer learning the basics about all the equipment that has been installed into the energy centres at Liverpool’s £1bn Paddington Village development. I’m actually from Liverpool, so it’s great to be able to work so close to home and support the local community - the curriculum is delivered by The City of Liverpool College too.

Why did you choose an apprenticeship over university?
I believe hands-on work experience is much more valuable than being stuck in a classroom, and not experiencing the specific role in your chosen field – you could spend years at university and not end up liking the path you have selected. Another reason is that I wanted to start my career without any debt from student loans, I’d rather earn while I learn.

Why did you choose to complete your apprenticeship at Vital in particular?
I chose to complete an apprenticeship at Vital as I wanted to be part of an award-winning company that is trying to make the planet a greener place. They also have a really good reputation, and I was so impressed when I looked at the scale of some of their projects, it made me want to be part of their team.

What is your favourite aspect of the apprenticeship?
I really enjoy the interaction with people on-site and helping come up with solutions to overcome any challenges we face - it makes me feel like a vital member of the team. I’m also surprised (in a good way) about the levels of support I have received, from needing a helping hand at work to assistance with my college work.

Tell us about one of the projects you’ve been working on.
I’m currently working on the Paddington Village project in Liverpool where we’ve installed an underground energy centre and heat network underneath a 14-storey car park which will help cut the city’s carbon footprint. The energy centre houses a 1,195kWh combined heat and power (CHP) engine which will provide both electricity and heat throughout the 30-acre site. This project has taught me so many things, from how to communicate with sub-contractors, to how to order equipment to site. I learned techniques such as how to communicate effectively with the client by providing weekly progress updates, and how to read schematics correctly, which was very difficult at first but I received plenty of help from my peers and I’m feeling much more confident when reading them. I like that no two days are the same, so there is plenty of variation and plenty of new things to learn.

I really enjoy the interaction with people on-site and helping come up with solutions to overcome any challenges we face - it makes me feel like a vital member of the team. I’m also surprised (in a good way) about the levels of support I have received, from needing a helping hand at work to assistance with my college work.

Alex Spencer, Building Services Engineering Apprentice

Tell us about one of the projects you’ve been working on.
I’m currently working on the Paddington Village project in Liverpool where we’ve installed an underground energy centre and heat network underneath a 14-storey car park which will help cut the city’s carbon footprint. The energy centre houses a 1,195kWh combined heat and power (CHP) engine which will provide both electricity and heat throughout the 30-acre site. This project has taught me so many things, from how to communicate with sub-contractors, to how to order equipment to site. I learned techniques such as how to communicate effectively with the client by providing weekly progress updates, and how to read schematics correctly, which was very difficult at first but I received plenty of help from my peers and I’m feeling much more confident when reading them. I like that no two days are the same, so there is plenty of variation and plenty of new things to learn.

What has the support from Vital been like?
The support so far has been excellent. Everyone who I have worked with from the Site Supervisors to the Head of Engineering have made me feel welcome from day one. My colleagues make me feel like they want to help me learn by encouraging me to ask questions and demonstrating techniques when I’m uncertain. I didn’t really know what to expect when I started my apprenticeship, but everyone I’ve met has made me feel part of the team.

Why would you recommend Vital as a place for someone to start their career as an apprentice?
I would definitely recommend Vital as I have enjoyed every minute since I have started. The training is fantastic, the people are great, there is lots of support available, and there are opportunities to progress your career. You will also be able to work on exciting projects that have a positive impact on the planet too, which feels really rewarding.

What are your career aspirations?
Once I’ve finished my level 3 Building Service Engineering and NVQ level 3 Apprenticeship, I will be able to go onto a HNC or a HND course which may lead to a degree too. My overall career aspirations are to gain a wealth of experience in the engineering sector and progress to a management position where I can manage my own projects. With the support I receive from Vital, I believe my goals are achievable.

We are looking to recruit apprentices in all areas of the business, site and office based, from design engineers through to project delivery engineers and operational engineers as well as support service opportunities.

Are you ready to contribute to the country’s net zero carbon journey? If so, then apply today by sending your CV to HR@vitalenergi.co.uk.

Where Next?

Icon Grad
Icon Careers
Icon About