For high flyer Sammy-Jo Evans, 21, an apprenticeship put her on the right path to success as an electrical fitter at Stansted Airport. Sammy-Jo works for UK Power Networks Services, the commercial side of UK Power Networks that provides energy consulting, project delivery, operations and asset management services to businesses across the UK.
I started my apprenticeship with UK Power Networks Services in 2014 at the age of 16 and straight from school. In my last year of school I didn’t really think about becoming an engineer until a family friend spoke to me about considering an apprenticeship. Before this career I was looking to become a musical theatre performer as I did singing and dancing from the age of three so it was all that I thought I could do. I still do it now, just in my spare time.
Doing an apprenticeship made me much more confident in my abilities. Being one of the only females in the apprenticeship group, I felt motivated and pushed myself 110% every single day. The reward for this was that I achieved a distinction in my national Trailblazer Apprenticeship qualification, which only a small number of us in the group received. I also won the ‘Rising Star’ award at the industry-leading Utility Week Awards in 2016 and was also nominated for ‘Apprentice of the Year’ at the Target Job Awards that same year. I really enjoyed my apprenticeship, it was exciting and I learned so many new things along the way and about my new craft as an electrical fitter.
I now work at Stansted Airport as an electrical fitter, keeping the lights on by undertaking maintenance and overseeing smaller projects. My role involves daily maintenance in different substations around the airport and maintaining all the different types of equipment we have at Stansted. Some of this involves full oil changes and testing and I also plan and schedule work for other colleagues and myself.
My next step in my career is to become an Authorised Person, which involves isolating the electricity circuit for maintenance and the planning and writing of schedules. I’m currently in training for this and am also in my last year for studying my Higher National Certificate in Electrical Engineering and am hoping to progress to a Higher National Diploma in Electrical Engineering.
The apprenticeship was a fantastic opportunity for me to get a start in an amazing career and to earn while learning a craft. I enjoy my job and the best part is the pride I feel when the power is restored or a piece of equipment is fully maintained or fixed. To anyone thinking about a career in engineering an apprenticeship is definitely the way forward and I would any encourage any woman who is considering a career in engineering to go for it!