Engineering Apprentice for Stansted Airport
At the Airport we get to work in lots of different areas, with different teams, on a rota system. I get to sample all the different skills needed to work on the maintenance of an airport. I could be working with the Terminal team, who deal with all the work inside the Airport, like the baggage systems and air handling units. There’s also the AGL team, who cover the airfield, including all the lighting on the runway and the power for the planes.
Which department do you prefer working with at the Airport?
I really like the Transit team. The Airport has its own transport system and we maintain the track and trains. It’s very technical - there’s a lot of electrical work involved. You have to know what you’re doing when you’re dealing with 500/600 volts!
What’s a typical day for you?
My day starts with our routine morning checks, followed by coursework. We’ll then get into our teams and go out around the Airport, carrying out maintenance duties. Our supervisor gives us our work list, which we’ll carry out for the rest of the day.
Tell us about your shift patterns?
We do two-day shifts, 6am to 6pm. After the two days, we get a break of 18 hours and then come in for the night shift, 6pm until 6 in the morning. I love the night shifts - you get to see how the whole transport system works, while no one is operating it. It’s really quite clever. You tend to pick up a lot working at night, because there isn’t anyone around and you don’t get called out for emergencies.
Do you ever have emergency situations?
Yes, sometimes. For instance, a belt might break on one of the trains and we’ll have to drop everything and go straight out to deal with it. The emergency work is when you’re really put to the test – you have to be quick, calm and make sure you deal with the situation correctly.
How does the Apprenticeship work for you?
The way that Stansted Airport and Harlow College work together is really good because, the day before a College day, I will have a rest day at Stansted, so that I’m fresh for my coursework.
Does what you learn in the classroom help you at work?
Yes, especially when it comes to Health and Safety and maintenance. Those two elements are the most useful at work.
Are you glad you chose to do an Apprenticeship?
Yes I am, I can definitely say that. I would advise anyone if given the chance, to do an Apprenticeship, especially if you’re lucky enough to be working for an employer like Stansted Airport. They are really good and I’m enjoying my time there.
What is your ultimate ambition?
I would love to be a technician at Stansted Airport. I enjoy it there and the teams are great. They are willing to teach you as long as you’re enthusiastic and willing to learn.