June 29, 2020: After finishing secondary school five years ago, Lucas Post wasn’t sure what he wanted to study next. He did know however that he wanted to do something in the technological sector. “I thought I’d figure out what I enjoyed while working and then start my studies with far more motivation,” he explains. Lucas applied for a position as an assistant electrical engineer at Piet Brouwer Electrotechnology. “I started at Piet Brouwer with just basic technical knowledge but was given the opportunity to observe other employees in action and do a lot myself under supervision. This allowed me to learn a lot in a short time.”
Lucas was also given the chance to follow a workplace learning trajectory. After two years of intermediate vocational training (MBO) level 4 to be an electrical engineer in electrotechnical industrial products and systems, Lucas (22) is now in his second year of higher vocational training (HBO) to be a technical project leader at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences in Groningen. He spends his Mondays studying and has classes two nights a week. For the rest of the week, Lucas works as an electrical engineer at Piet Brouwer Electrotechnology.
Electrical engineers are expected to be able to complete all parts of a project, from A to Z; from installing cables to connecting and commissioning technical systems. “I most enjoy the commissioning of the electrical systems. After working on a project for some 20 weeks it is great to finally bring everything to life… And that’s what it’s all about.”
The projects with the eco-bulk carriers for Ferus Smit in Groningen have made the biggest impression on Lucas so far. “We lived a year in a house with five colleagues near the yard for this job. It was great to spend so much time together, and we grew really close. I was also able to develop a lot personally during this project and use what I had learned in practice. It was the first time I was responsible for an engine room, which was an exciting challenge. I could feel myself getting better and better. After my second engine room, I was given responsibility for the wheelhouse.”
Another project that was special to Lucas was a Power Solutions project in Ethiopia: “This was a unique experience. It was really interesting to see how such a project is realised logistically and to experience the African working culture, which is very different to ours!”
Until the summer break, Lucas is working in Urk on board the MV Eidsvaag-Omega (formerly MV Baltic) of Hartman Marine. “I helped with the original build too so am familiar with the vessel, which makes it extra fun to work on the Baltic again.”
The words that Lucas associates with Piet Brouwer Electrotechnology are: broad, educational, collegial and unique. “Broad because there are opportunities in all directions in terms of schooling, the types of projects and disciplines, working in the Netherlands or abroad. All the options are wide open. If you want something and you can explain why, you’ll be given plenty of opportunities. Educational because if you have the right attitude there is so much to learn at Piet Brouwer Electrotechnology. Looking back at the past five years I can see that I’ve learned and done an extraordinary amount.
“Despite its growth, Piet Brouwer Electrotechnology remains a tight-knit company and very friendly. You’re never just a number and really feel like part of a family. Everyone knows each other, we all chat and it’s always nice to be around colleagues. What is unique is that the work is never dull. One day I’ll be installing cables, the next I’ll be connecting panels and on the third I’m fixing a breakdown. Every day is a surprise and no two days are the same here.”