Watertrain enters new chapter with acquisition by RSK GroupMay 26, 2022
South West Water – Lola CampbellJuly 26, 2022
In the first instalment of their Women in Water series, leading Water Industry training provider, Watertrain, interviewed Lola Campbell of South West Water to find out how an apprenticeship has helped her career.
At school I was never sure what I wanted to do and with the worry of making the right choices, even at that age, I felt that pressure. At the age of 18, I worked in the family business before moving to a logistics role in the Southwest. Within 2 years I was responsible for process optimisation and debt management.
I then joined South West Water as a Scheduler and successfully completed my first Apprenticeship in Business Administration. Shortly after this I was promoted into an Operational Managerial role, but with no formal treatment process qualifications, I asked to undertake the Water Process Technician Level 3 Apprenticeship with Watertrain.
The apprenticeship gave me the strong foundation of operational knowledge needed for me to succeed in this role. I was conscious that as a young female manager at just 24, I had a lot to prove. I knew that to be able to successfully manage my team, I had to live their daily struggles, understand technical language, resolve issues in a timely manner and be able to understand and answer complex process questions.
The format of the apprenticeship is learning the theory within the classroom then putting that newly found knowledge into practice daily within the working environment. In the classroom you are surrounded by others that also want to learn.
It is so important that the delivery of training is conducted to the right timeframe, using the right methods by qualified empathetic Learning and Development Consultants. All my assignments were marked quickly and returned with constructive feedback, and I was pushed to maintain the standard that I was capable of which I appreciated. All of this encouraged me to learn. I also received support from my manager and other operators within the Water Industry.
I have found that I have become passionate about the treatment process, understanding how the microbiology works in an activated sludge ditch. If I had gone to University, I would never have ended up doing this job, I would not have found this role – this is what the apprenticeship has given me.
Shortly after joining South West Water, I realised that this company would offer me the ability to progress, if I wanted it. So, I got my head down, did my research and took on extra responsibilities and waited for the right opportunity.
I am now an Area Manager and loving my role. The apprenticeship was a crucial ingredient in allowing me to go from an entry level role to having a great career path. I’m doing a job I’m proud of, a role I’ve trained for. Without the apprenticeship I wouldn’t be here.