Meet an Apprentice

A real job offering hands on experience

Kevin Doherty
Year 3 Apprentice
Picture of Kevin Doherty a 3 Year Apprentice

Give a brief outline of your career to date 

I studied Advertising & Marketing at the University of Ulster where I graduated with a 1st class honours degree. I then worked within the marketing industry as a Marketing Executive for a number of different companies. Unhappy working in an office based role within the Marketing Industry I decided to seek a career change. I always had an interest in all things engineering and mechanical so I sought a more hands-on career. I began looking for courses and opportunities to enable me to retrain when I came across the Translink Apprenticeship Programme. I thought this would be a great opportunity as it offered on the job experience, qualifications whilst earning a wage. I am currently a 3rd year apprentice based in Coleraine. 

Is this what you always wanted to do? 

Having grown up with a keen interest in all things engineering and with my father being a HGV mechanic I always imagined myself in this line of work. However (for some unknown reason) I ended up going to university to study marketing!! 

Where there any particular essential qualifications or experiences needed? 

For the apprenticeship programme a minimum of 5 GCSEs at grade C or above or equivalent including Maths and English was required. 

Are there alternative routes into the job? 

There are often opportunities for already qualified engineers to enter this position.

What does a typical day entail? 

A typical day as an apprentice can be varied as you get a wide range of experience working in different areas and as part of different teams. This can include carrying out scheduled safety inspections, preparing buses for PSV or diagnosing and repairing buses that have broken down. You get a wide and varied experience of all aspects of maintaining the fleet whilst working alongside an experienced member of the team. 

What are the best and most challenging aspects of the job? 

One of the best aspects of the job would be the fact no two days are the same, this keeps the job challenging and interesting. There is also great job satisfaction when you carry out repairs and the bus is able to get back on the road; you see that your hard work has paid off. The most challenging aspect can be the diagnosing of complex faults- due to rapid technological advances faults are becoming more complex and often require much more diagnostic techniques in order to track down the issue. 

Why is what you do important? 

Translink offer/provide vital services to many members of the community and for these services to run as efficiently as possible it is important that the buses are kept to a high standard and are safe to be on the road. The role of an engineer is important as it involves maintaining a safe and reliable fleet of vehicles for customers to use. 

What advice would you give anyone looking to follow a similar career path? 

If you know that this is what you want to do, then go for it. An apprenticeship is a great way to get into the industry. It gives you an opportunity to learn and gain qualifications whilst getting the all-important on the job experience and gives you the chance to earn while you learn. 

What’s the one piece of advice you would give yourself on your first day? 

Don’t get overwhelmed - it’s a lot to take in but with great support you will settle in and start learning very quickly. 

And finally, what’s the key to any successful job search? 

Having confidence in yourself, your ability and having the determination and motivation to keep going, even if unsuccessful at first. 

Apprentice Profile

Minimum Criteria

  • All applicants require a minimum of 5 GCSE’s at grade C or above (or equivalent qualification) including Maths and English or be expecting to receive these by August 2021
  • Minimum of grade B in Maths is desirable for Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Experience of using Microsoft Office packages 
  • Able to demonstrate examples of a practical hands-on approach 
  • Team player with a positive attitude 
  • Committed, self-motivated and willing to respond to the needs of the Apprenticeship scheme
  • Excellent communication skills 
  • Understand how to provide an excellent customer experience
  • Aged 16 years old or over on or before the 1st August 2021 for Engineering Apprenticeships
  • Aged 18 years old or over on or before the 1st August 2021 for Infrastructure & Projects Apprenticeships

Desirable Criteria

  • Minimum of a grade B in GCSE Maths (or equivalent qualification) is required for Civil and Structural Engineering Apprenticeship

Recruitment Process 

  1. Online application form
  2. Online aptitude tests
  3. Interview
  4. Pre-employment references, qualification and medical checks (if successful)  
A Day in the Life of an Apprentice

Check out our vidoes on a day in the life of our Engineering Apprentice Ciara, and Body Trade Apprentice Matthew.

Search for a Job

We have excellent opportunities for those seeking a career in Operations, Engineering, Infrastructure, Clerical or Management. External Vacancies / Internal Vacancies

Why work With Us?

We employ around 4200 people across various locations throughout Northern Ireland. Find Out More

Our Recruitment Process

We use a range of processes to select the most appropriate candidate for a job. More on Our Recruitment Process

Graduate Management Programme

Our 2 year (Operations) and 3 year (Engineering) training programmes will see you undertake placements throughout the business to provide you with the all-round skills you need to be a future Business or Engineering Manager in Translink. More on Our Programme

Work Placements

We're keen to support those who need help getting on the employment ladder. More on Working With Us