SNIPEF Apprentice Diary – Monday

March 7, 2022

Scottish Apprenticeship Week will be running 07-11 March 2022, and to help celebrate we have asked some of our apprentices to keep a diary of their week. Follow along with us as we find out what an average day looks like for Gemma, Ellie, and Marion.

Gemma Ireland

Gemma started her Apprenticeship with Able Girl Plumbing in September 2021. While at High School she did work experience with Able Girl Plumbing and kept in touch with Joanna, the owner, who encouraged Gemma to start a plumbing apprenticeship. Gemma thought about different kinds of apprenticeships but kept coming back to plumbing, this was confirmed when she completed a pre-apprenticeship course at Edinburgh College.

Gemma has always liked problem-solving, and while completing her work experience she realised that's what plumbing is all about. Like many apprentices, she did not enjoy school that much but really enjoys learning at college and how this applies to her practical work.

Monday's Diary

I wake up at 7 am to drive to Borders College, start college at 9 am, and attend two days a week. On Mondays, we focus on theory and bookwork. Recently we have been concentrating on technical drawings of drainage systems for domestic properties as well as the structure of central heating systems. This has evolved my understanding of other people’s drawings and enabled me to produce my own. The learning materials are all online, which has been helpful during the lockdown. I am the only girl in the class – it would be good if there were more – but I don’t feel out of place.  

Ellie Ferguson

Ellie works for the SNIPEF Training team as an Apprentice Training Administrator. Before Ellie started her apprenticeship in March 2021, she was attending school and working part-time in a beauty salon. Ellie decided that university was not for her, as she wanted to get straight into work, so turned her attention to looking for a full-time job. Ellie explained her mood was initially dampened after a few knockbacks, but this only made her more determined.

Ellie applied for her apprenticeship with SNIPEF and was quickly contacted and invited in for an interview the following day. After lots of interview prep, she managed to impress the team enough and was offered the role. Ellie quickly became a well-respected and important part of the STS team.

Monday's Diary

Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, I have been working from home, I start work at 9 am and log into my laptop. I like to start my day by checking my emails and action anything required. My manager sends out a timetable for the week that tells me and my colleagues what tasks we have planned. I really like this as it means I can get organised for the week ahead.

I am currently helping one of our Regional Training Officers (RTO) fill out Apprentice Induction Paperwork, and spend most of my morning doing this. At lunchtime, I like to go out for a walk as it helps me clear my head. In the afternoon I answer an enquiry from an employer looking to take on Apprentice, so I explain the process to them and send over some CVs we have on file that has been submitted through our website. I log off the computer at 5 pm when I finish.

Marion Stewart

Marion never fancied working in an office job and always enjoyed working with her hands. In the summer of 2020, she called a few different employers looking for work experience and was encouraged by G&A Barnie Group Ltd to apply for their Apprentice role. She has been in her apprenticeship for almost two years now and is really enjoying it.

Monday's Diary

My day started at 8 am, when I meet my team at the yard then we were told our tasks of the day and take the materials we required. We were working down at the RAF Lossiemouth camp which is a passenger handling facility to work in the plant room. There had been two industrial boilers fitted there in the previous day so our job was to lag the pipework to prevent freezing and pressurising the system and look for any leaks. Followed by the super hanger to replace a fan which we had looked at a few weeks earlier. To finish the day we headed back to building 1069 to turn on the gas and to commission the boilers.

Once we got down to building 1069, we parked up. I took out everything we needed for the job, lagging, foil tape, a bread knife, a set of grips, and a flat head screwdriver. I went inside the building to make sure that there were no taps on whilst my journeyman started to fill the systems. As the systems were filling, we started to lag the pipework. Once we had lagged the pipework the system was just full. We then check for leaks, we only had a small leak which was an easy fix there was a blank that wasn’t quite tight enough so we sorted that then checked again. We finish up for the day around 4 pm and head back to the yard.

“ I am the only girl in the class – it would be good if there were more – but I don’t feel out of place.  ”

Gemma Ireland

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