To celebrate Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2017, we are introducing a number of students who are at various stages of their apprenticeships.
Next is 30-year-old Tracey Govan who is an Apprentice Fitter with GE Caledonian Ltd.
GE Caledonian at Prestwick is an aeronautical engine overhaul facility, providing services for aviation engines and components as well as avionics, electrical power and mechanical systems for aircraft.
Tracey worked in a large supermarket for eleven years, before a change in company structure made her consider her future. Tracey left the supermarket to pursue her dream career.
Tracey said ”I wanted to completely change my career and do something different. I’d always liked being hands-on, doing anything that involved a bit of skill, and I like learning new things. I decided to go back to college, which to be honest, is the best thing I could have done.”
Now she’s in the second year of an apprenticeship following a year studying Performing Engineering Operations (PEO) course Ayrshire College.
“I found that being on the PEO course was a great way to be considered for an apprenticeship, it opened up a lot of opportunities for me. Since I had already done one year on the PEO course, I went straight to being a second year apprentice at GE Caledonian Ltd.
I’m an Apprentice Fitter which means that I work on different sections on the shop floor, working alongside a colleague. In my three years here, I’ll get to work in all of the sections.
The job is very hands-on, working to manuals – whatever repairs that the customer requires with their particular engine, I work alongside a mechanic and do what’s required.
My favourite part of working as an apprentice is the variety. No day is the same, even if you’re in the same section, there’s always a different part of the job to learn, whether that is repairs, upgrades or working with single item components. I work with different people on a weekly basis, due to shift patterns, so I get to meet everyone and learn different skills from them.
I go to college 2 days a week, and next year it’ll be 1 day a week. The benefit of being an apprentice is that you can put the theory you learn at college into practice and learn as you go. Actually being involved in the work is great. I’ll get a recognised qualification as well as trade papers.
It’s amazing the opportunities that are out there working for a multinational company like GE Caledonian. Once I finish my apprenticeship, I’d like to continue working for GE Caledonian, the opportunities are definitely there.