For Scottish Apprenticeship Week, Maureen Morgan chatted to Energy Voice about her journey through the modern apprenticeship programme and her dreams of being our first female dual-skilled crane operator and mechanic.
Maureen Morgan started her career in the care sector but always had a keen interest in mechanics. After deciding to pursue her passion in 2013, she is now an apprentice mechanical engineer at Sparrows Group’s Aberdeen headquarters based in Bridge of Don.
Why was an apprenticeship an attractice option for you?
I’ve always been very hands-on and enjoyed servicing my own cars in my spare time. Mechanics was always interesting to me and when my son was inprimary school it seemed like the right time to get back into education. I enrolled with North East Scotland College and completed an SVQ in Automotive and Maintenance and Repair before gaining a Performing Engineering Operations (PEO) in Mechanical Engineering. I had part time jobs whilst studying, but when the apprenticeship at Sparrows came along, it was a great opportunity for me to learn on-the-job in a real workshop while gaining the relevant qualifications.
Can you tell me about your experience and what opportunities it has provided?
Since starting my apprenticeship, I’ve had some amazing opportunities that have really accelerated my progression. I’ve completed several trips offshore to perform a range of work including crane servicing and crane rope changeout. It’s been so valuable to gain experience both in the workshop and offshore environments.
My first trip was a bit daunting and I’d never flown in a helicopter before, but I really enjoy it now. While I currently work in mechanics, I also had my first experience of being in a crane offshore and loved it. After expressing an interest to Sparrows, they enabled me to begin my training as a Stage 1 crane operator. The company has been so supportive of my career and the apprenticeship has provided me with the practical skills and experience which most traditional learning cannot.
What do you most enjoy about your apprenticeship?
The culture in Sparrows is very friendly and you are given the opportunity to do a wide range of tasks. You aren’t given jobs just because you are an apprentice, you get the same work as everybody else and it helps you develop your skills whilst you learn. I just love getting stuck into any job and completing it to the best of my ability. The process has really boosted my confidence and I now really enjoy supporting the newer apprentices as they learn new skills.
What are your ambitions for the future?
In the future, I would like to progress in a way that benefits both myself and Sparrows. In the next five years, I’m hoping to become a duel skilled crane operator as well as completing my final internal outcomes for my apprenticeship. This would lead me to become Sparrows first offshore female crane operator and mechanic which would be really exciting.
The modern apprenticeship has changed my life and helped me find the career that I wanted for me and my son. He’s now following in my footsteps and doing a modern apprenticeship in motor vehicle mechanics as he can see what a valuable experience it has been for me.