As one of the largest apprentice employers in Ireland, we are dedicated to investing in and developing the next generation of engineering talent. As part of our #PeopleFirst series we speak to third year apprentice, Paul Lynam to hear his experience of joining Kirby and his aspirations for the future.
Originally from Tullamore, County Offaly, Ireland, Paul is currently on off-the-job training at Waterford Institute of Technology. “We are learning about domestic wiring and how electricity works,” he tells us.
Paul didn’t go straight into his apprenticeship from school, “I took a year out and worked as a labourer in Chicago, America. I knew I wanted to work with my hands and found the electrical side the most interesting part of the project. I was working for a housing contractor. I got close to the electrician on the project and he told me to get home and get my tickets.”
With family members working in the construction sector, Paul says he was told he should try and get an apprenticeship with Kirby. “My dad is a fitter and he was keen that I apply for an apprenticeship with Kirby, the training the company offers is well known in the industry and it’s seen as a badge of honour if you get on the scheme.”
Paul has already worked on two of Kirby’s flagship projects: “In the first phase of my apprenticeship with Kirby I was based on Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals in Dublin and on my latest project, I worked on Boston Scientific in Galway. I enjoy the fact I can move with the projects and hope I will get the opportunity to work abroad with Kirby,” says the 22-year-old.
Paul hopes to take up the fast-track electrical engineering degree that Kirby offers through Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT). Successful apprentices are sponsored by Kirby through the course and can get their degree in two years, after completing their four-year apprenticeship.
“Kirby has a history of recruiting from within. My foreman is a former Kirby apprentice, as is our Group Managing Director, Mark Flanagan. It shows that if you put in the hard yards, the sky is the limit in terms of career opportunities,” he adds.
“The work on site is really rewarding. On Boston Scientific project, we are working on an extension and clean room, I work under a qualified electrician pulling cables, measuring and fitting trays. The days fly by. It’s hard work, but the team spirit is great and when we reach a milestone on the job, we are encouraged to take time out as a team to celebrate.”
He ends: “In 10 years I hope to be a qualified electrical engineer, building my career with Kirby. An apprenticeship with Kirby really is your passport to a world of opportunity, travel and success. I would recommend it to anyone.”
To find out more about Kirby’s apprenticeship programme go to: https://careers.kirbygroup.com/