To celebrate Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2017, we are introducing a number of students who are at various stages of their apprenticeships.
Last up this week, we have Eva Mackie from EGGER (UK) Limited.
Eva was a dental nurse for four years before becoming an Environmental Laboratory Technician Apprentice with EGGER (UK) Limited at the Barony plant in Auchinleck, Ayrshire.
She began her apprenticeship in August 2016 and is delighted to have made the decision to change career paths when she did.
Eva, 22, said: “I just fancied a total change. I was bored, I didn’t like my job anymore and when I saw this opportunity I thought ‘I like the sound of that’.
“After my first day here, I remember going home and thinking to myself ‘oh no, what have I done’. From the second day onwards, however, that completely changed. I’ve learned so much and would definitely recommend an apprenticeship to anyone.”
EGGER (UK) Limited’s, Barony plant is a modern, hi-tech chipboard plant which employs over 115 people.
The company has a well-developed apprenticeship scheme, and recruits mechanical and electrical apprentices annually. However, this is the first time they have employed a laboratory apprentice.
Eva said; “Everyone on the site knows that I’m the first apprentice in the lab, so they always go out of their way to help me. I can ask anybody anything.
“My job involves testing the different surfaces, which I test for moistures, densities and sieves. We get samples every day from the water outlet at the front of the factory, which we are testing for ammonium, formaldehyde, COD and phosphate. We run these tests to ensure we are within the regulations with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA).
“I see this as a long term career with a stable and sustainable company. There are plenty of opportunities to develop, gain extra training and progress my career.”
Eva is supervised by Wendy Cumming, Quality and Environmental Controller, who Eva calls “a massive help”.
Wendy said; “Eva is a breath of fresh air who is keen and quick at learning, which is important in this job as no two days are ever the same. It’s good to see another female in the production area too.
“Apprenticeships are very important. This is the first year we have had a lab apprentice and it is great to see the Barony apprenticeship scheme developing. In order to support succession planning we need the apprentices of today to undertake our specialist roles of tomorrow, to be more diverse and ultimately they are the future of EGGER.”