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An apprentice’s first year

The access security manufacturer TDSi’s first higher-level apprentice, trainee Product Engineer Oscar Johnson, has been reflecting on his first year working at the company’s head office in Poole, Dorset. Oscar recently started his second year of study for a Higher National Certificate (HNC) at Bournemouth and Poole College and will continue as a Degree Apprentice for a further four years, with a permanent role at TDSi alongside his studies.

Of his first year on the HNC course (where he earned a Distinction grade) and at TDSi, Oscar, pictured, said: “It’s been quite a year to be studying and entering the working world, punctuated by a number of UK pandemic lockdowns and the need to support our partners and customers during the most unusual of times. However, it has been a superb learning experience and I am pleased to have been sharing it with the team at TDSi.”

Besides practical technical experience, Oscar has also had an introduction to the commercial world of the security industry, balanced with one day a week of college study time. “I have had to react to constant challenges, many of which were unexpected. Certainly, the unpredicted pandemic challenges have added to this and have helped me to refine my problem-solving skills, aligning the technology needs with the requirements of a commercial business that must stay profitable and dependable.”

Oscar has been involved with a variety of TDSi systems, including the latest GARDiS access controllers and software testing. “I have been involved with an interesting selection of development projects, including regression testing and updating the firmware on readers. Every week brings a new set of challenges which let me play my part in the wider picture, which I really enjoy.”

John Davies, Managing Director of TDSi said: “Bringing on a more qualified apprentice has obvious benefits to our business as well as for Oscar himself. We can brief him on certain tasks and let him get on with the project, which is obviously helpful to our whole work schedule. Oscar has also brought new perspectives to problem solving which have enriched our team, this really is a win-win situation for us all.”

As for joining the product firm in the middle of the covid pandemic Oscar said: “There have been obvious challenges of working with hardware whilst the restrictions were in place, but like the rest of the team I had a rota, which gave me two days working at Headquarters for these tasks. I could then work from home on other aspects, in much the same way as I did for my college work.”

Now in his second year, Oscar said: “Being an apprentice has been a big bonus. I was open to any relevant opportunities that were offered, but I am particularly happy to have entered the security sector! TDSi has been perfect for this, we have a small enough team not to get lost in the crowd but the expertise, technical excellence, and agile working to help me develop the way I work. Being an apprentice is a brilliant experience, providing a good balance of work, college, and life.”



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