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Case study


Our latest case study follows Ayden, one of our mature learners, who decided to join the apprenticeship later in life. 

Name: Ayden Faal

Works for: Trinity Fire & Security

Course: FESST Level 3 Apprenticeship (Fire Emergency & Security Systems Technician)


 Year: 1 of 3

Ayden Faal Main.png

What initially drew you to start an apprenticeship?

It all started around COVID when my wife worked for a department store and was made redundant. She started helping my little one with schoolwork and then found out she liked teaching. She started off as an assistant but worked her way up and is now the deputy head, all within three years, so she's doing alright. That’s what gave me a little bit of a kick.


I have been a delivery driver since I was 21, but after watching my wife’s success, I realised there was no progression for me, so I was considering new career paths and started looking through apprenticeships. For me, starting again from scratch, coming from a secure job where you're getting a decent wage, and then dropping down to the beginning and starting again within a new career path, it's a big risk, but I’m willing to take it because I know I’m working towards something better. I applied, and luckily, I got a phone call back.

What have been the highlights so far?

All of it really, because it's so different every day, and I'm always learning. We are only seven months in, so we don't know everything yet, but working with all the other apprentices helps, they give you loads of confidence and help you through things as you go.

In the lessons, you're obviously learning everything, but then you get to put it into practice in the real world. I don't really learn well in the classroom. I need to be out and able to do it. You can show me diagrams and things like that and I'll kind of get it, but if you show me how to do it practically, that’s when everything clicks.


How have you found the balance of education and work?

Oh, it's really easy. Trinity are really good! Because they're very focused on education, they give you enough time for that. When we visit the training centre, they get us a nice place to stay over as we are studying for a week at a time, so yeah, it's really good.

Some days, I'll take half a day to go back and recap, for example, if I've seen or experienced something new on-site, to go back and focus on the college work, while on work time. So Trinity are really good like that, making sure I'm up to date.


Tell us a little about the kind of training you do.

On the Monday of a new block, we'll go back over what we did in the previous blocks, just a bit of a refresher. Then we'll make sure everything's up to date on our training system BUD, and then we'll crack into it and whatever is on the agenda for that block. It is about equal parts practical and sit-down education. We'll have a practical assessment at the end of each week to make sure we are on track. At the end of the three years, we'll do an End-point Assessment, which is everything thrown together. That's like your main test so you can pass your apprenticeship, and all the tests at the end of each block make sure you are on track to pass. You do the work that week and then you can put it into practice the following weeks after when you're out on tools.


We’re doing four disciplines, so every day you’re doing a different one: intruder, access, fire, and VSS, which is CCTV. This means we're doing all four instead of just being fire-dominant or security-dominant. Skills have us training on all four so we have a versatile set of skills.

What job have you done recently that has made you feel the most accomplished?

The best one we've done recently, I think, we were trying to find a fault in a department store but couldn’t find it for ages. I think we were on the job for three or four days, then we realised that the depression in the floor where they were driving over, you could see they had laid fresh asphalt, and there was a depression, about three inches deep. So it turned out it was the trucks driving over it, crushing the cables. That was a hard one, but we eventually got to find it.

Are there any jobs that are particularly challenging?

There are all sorts. If you're doing maintenance with an assignment that's so big it may take a week or longer to complete, and it's just remembering everything you've done so you're not going over things. Also, keeping track of all the information that the previous visits have done too, but that's all on the job card. But sometimes, looking for voids, when you eventually find out the detectors are there, it's a pretty good feeling when you’ve been searching all day.


Does the training run parallel with what you're doing at Trinity?

It is very similar yes, although there are differences. You might see different systems and different panels, but they all work similarly and the ones here are what point us towards our End-point Assessment. These are common items, so it is good to get a basic understanding of them, but there are also different panels, which we have specific training for in-house.


What is the next step? Do you have a five-year plan?

I want to be qualified. And then we'll see after that, because there are lots of different avenues that you can take, especially within this industry. Maybe I want to be fire-dominant, but then I also have the skills to do all the other disciplines as well. I don't know which I'd want to go down right now. Ideally, I'll be doing fire because we're a fire-dominant company.


Do you have any advice that you would give to someone who doesn't know what they want to do with their future?

Yeah, if you get an opportunity for an apprenticeship or anything like that, definitely go for it! I wish I had done it a lot sooner. It’s good seeing all the young lads that are all between 18 and 21 in my group, I'm the oldest at 37! I'd definitely say jump into it as soon as you can, but no matter what age, I'd start off as there are so many opportunities! I had loads of anxiety when I started, thinking am I too old, I'm not going to be good enough, and that I don’t think I’ll pick it up or can’t learn and stuff like that again, but no, I found that I can do it, and if I can, so can you! So yeah, just go for it. Bite the bullet!

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