Youri: 'Give me work and I'll do it'

Youri Bras started at the Alfen Academy as a 17-year-old. Having done a two-week internship at Alfen while in vmbo 3, he was called a year later. Alfen asked if he was interested in the company's business school. Although he had already registered for a full-time academic programme, he switched track quite quickly. "I really enjoy rolling my sleeves up," he says. "And I wanted to gain some work experience."

The combination of working and learning suited him ideally. It took a bit of getting used to in the beginning, working and then an additional one day a week back to school. And it was quite tiring! But he found he could stay the pace.

And stay ahead. And two years later he gained his mbo level 2 certificate. "All around me I heard people in the know saying they saw my potential."

Climbing the ladder from level 2 to level 4

Next stop was level 3, and he got there too. And then? Level 4, the only way to go! Youri worked himself up from level 2 to a level 4 student in only four years. Not only that, he was also asked if he was interested in an Inspector position. He had to think about it for a moment, but an unequivocal 'yes' followed quickly.

'I felt honoured'

During level 2, Youri worked on various departments related to the assembly of transformer stations. Departments such as lighting, the rack unit, rack construction and final assembly. During level 3, Youri transferred to TheBattery (energy storage) where he was put to work for eight months. 'I remember it well. I'd only returned from vacation the day before and I was asked if I'd like to work for Rail as a field technician. I felt truly honoured, because there are not all that many Alfen technicians that get to work for Rail. And I had the idea that hard work pays off."

In order to work for Rail, Youri had to complete a number of relevant training programmes. One of those was the VCA VOL, enabling him to be appointed as a trainee field engineer. And a specific technical training programme for electric vehicles, as well as a VP course for the 3KV. Everybody told Youri that would be tough and intense. But he didn't balk at the challenge.

And how is your future panning out, Youri?

"I enjoy working as a field technician, you have all the freedom you need to do your work and you get to see quite a lot of customer sites. I'm now combining my field work with an 'inside' job. And enjoying the variation" Youri sees himself working as an inspector for the foreseeable future, although he has not lost sight of his ultimate ambition; a position as Service Technician. But to get there he first needs to complete level 4.

I always try to do my best to pass all my tests first time around, so that Alfen knows they made the right choice when they took me on board." Moreover, Youri believes that attitude is another crucial factor. 'You don't need to have all that much knowledge upfront when you join the club, they'll teach you what you need to know. But you do need a positive attitude, you need to really want to succeed."

'No longer shy'

Youri has not only developed from a professional perspective, but also personally. "I joined the company as a pretty self-conscious 17-year-old. That is certainly no longer the case."

In conclusion, Youri is deeply appreciative of the chance he has had to work here. "I'd like to thank all my coaches, my practical supervisor, managers and my colleagues for this opportunity. I don't regret my choice for a moment."

Are you interested in a BBL track at Alfen?

Would you like to obtain an mbo certificate at our Alfen Academy? Please go ahead! At our expense. You work four-and-a-half days a week, and go to school on the 5th day. Or, in other words, you enrol in our competence development course (the 'BBL' pathway). So you like to get things done? Do you learn the most on the job? Then this is your chance! Contact our recruiter, Jiska Andeweg. You can reach her by phone, e-mail or app,