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Published: 13th September 2023

Changing Careers Through the Apprenticeship Route: ConocoPhillips & Cogent Skills Instrument & Control Technician Apprentice

After gaining a degree in audio engineering, Phil Haggath decided to retrain and used the apprenticeship route into a role with one of the world’s largest independent exploration and production companies, ConocoPhillips
Technician Apprentice, Phil Haggath, ConocoPhillips

Phil Haggath is an Instrument & Control Technician Apprentice employed by Cogent Skills (via our employment service) and hosted full time on site with ConocoPhillips. He used the apprenticeship route to change career. We sent Rachel, our Strategic Apprenticeship Lead to ask him about his journey. Listen to their conversation or read our blog below.

After completing his degree in audio engineering,  Phil Haggath decided to embark on a new career path. Phil took the apprenticeship route, landing himself a role with ConocoPhillips, one of the world’s largest independent E&P companies.

Phil is currently working as an Instrument and Control Technician at ConocoPhillips. His daily responsibilities include maintaining and repairing various instruments that provide crucial information about the plant’s operations. From planned maintenance to routine checks, Phil ensures that these instruments are always in tip-top shape.

After graduating from Southampton, he quickly realised that his chosen field wasn’t matching his careers aspirations.. Determined to explore other opportunities, he decided to retrain in the process industry. Phil funded his first year back at a vocational college and pursued an Instrument and Control  BTEC. After a year of hard work, he saw the technician apprentice application at ConocoPhillips and decided to give it a shot. Lucky for him, it turned out to be the perfect fit. He sailed through the interviews and was offered the job about a year after starting his retraining journey.

During my conversation with Phil, he opened up about his initial decision to study audio engineering. As a passionate guitar player for almost two decades, he felt drawn to the music industry. However, as time went on, he gradually realized that he wanted to keep music as a hobby rather than a full-time career. Not to mention that a majority of the industry was located down South, and he wasn’t content with his living situation at the time.

Phil went on to talk about the dynamics of being a mature learner at college and during his apprenticeship and how was a positive experience and that people shouldn’t see age as a barrier to pursuing something new.

Phil talked with passion about the value of apprentices, calling them a hidden gem and calling out for them to get a bigger profile due to the doors that they open.

The biggest difference I noticed doing the apprenticeship compared to going through college and university is the actual hands on experience you get…You’re gaining that experience from people who know the job inside out

Phil Haggath

Phil’s story is a testament to the power of self-discovery and following your true passion. He took a leap of faith and ventured into the world of instrument and control technology, and he hasn’t looked back since. Through dedication and persistence, Phil now finds himself working alongside industry experts at ConocoPhillips.

So, if you’re feeling uncertain about your current career path, take a page from Phil’s book. Embrace change, pursue your passions, and don’t be afraid to explore apprenticeship opportunities in fields that truly excite you. After all, who knows where your own journey may lead you?

Future Ready

Cogent Skills is sector based, working with companies from across the Science and Technology Industries embracing Life Sciences, Industrial Sciences and Nuclear.
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