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Graduate Engineer spotlight | Qualifying during a pandemic, settling into the role and moving home!

04 February, 2021 by Tom Peace

Briggs Engineers are the heartbeat of our business. Throughout the Coronavirus pandemic they have worked tirelessly to keep business moving for our customers, many of whom operate in key sectors. This includes the latest cohort of Briggs apprentice engineers who graduated from their four year training programme in September 2020.

Harry Robin (pictured right) is one these newly qualified engineers and here he explains his experiences of working as an engineer during COVID-19, the support Briggs has provided throughout the training programme and his plans for the future!

What made you want to become an Engineer in the first place?

I’ve always been fascinated with the craft of engineering and it’s always been a profession that I wanted to become involved with. In particular, I’ve got a passion for the mechanical aspect of engineering and as part of my work with Briggs as both an apprentice and fully qualified engineer, I’ve been lucky enough to achieve that ambition.

How did you find the apprenticeship programme as a whole?

It was a fantastic experience to be a part of the Briggs engineer apprenticeship programme. The level of detail that the courses go into, combined with the real world experience that you gain, provides a great grounding and helps prepare you for your work as a fully qualified engineer. The support that you receive during the programme is outstanding and you always feel as if you have someone to turn to if you have a question or need some advice.

The engineer teams that I completed my placements with were also very welcoming and helped me a lot during the apprenticeship programme. It’s this all-round support network that from the training team through to fellow engineers, that made the course a really enjoyable and rewarding experience.

How have you found becoming a newly qualified Briggs Engineer during a pandemic?

It obviously not a situation that I expected to be in when I finished my course and there are some additional measures that we’ve needed to take regarding safety and minimising the risk of spreading the virus.

As we’re out and about working on customer sites, it’s crucial that we follow the individual site rules and regulations to make sure we keep everyone safe, whilst also completing the required work.

One of the things you do miss out on is the social interaction between the team, which obviously can’t happen because of the restrictions. Despite this, I’ve been really well supported by my Managers and team members who’ve all helped me settle into the role. We have regular catch-ups and I’m still able to ask for advice or support whenever I need it, which is really important for a newly qualified engineer.

On a personal note, I moved home from Swindon to Chester during 2020, so once I graduated I was working in a new area compared to where I had done most of my training. Once again, the help I’ve received from everyone at Briggs has made this transition as smooth as possible and has allowed me to focus on my work.

Where are you currently based and what aspect of your job do you enjoy the most?

I’m working as a Field Engineer in the North West area and as part of my role I deal with five or six customers helping them resolve issues and keep their operations online. In terms of what aspect of the role I enjoy most, it has to be the hands on fixing of equipment and problem solving for customers.

It’s exciting to have a big project ahead of you and there’s a fantastic sense of accomplishment when you’re able to use all the skills and knowledge that you’ve been taught over the years to fix a problem.

What are you looking forward to achieving as a Briggs Engineer?

I’m looking forward to improving as an engineer and getting better each day, via learning from my team members and also gaining experience in the role. Even though I’ve been through the apprenticeship programme, there’s so much more that I can learn and I’m always asking questions and taking in advice.

I know that Briggs will support me with my career development and there are lots of training opportunities that I’m keen to get involved with.

Find out more about the engineering support available from Briggs Equipment, by getting in touch with one of our team today.