PD Ports has a long and proud history of support young people since its first apprenticeship programme launched in 2001 and we’re incredibly proud of the fact that over 44% of our Engineering department started their careers as apprentices. Now as we celebrate our 20th year of providing opportunities for the next generation, we’re catching up with some of our former apprentices to see where their careers have taken them.
Name: Martin Walker
Job Title: Group Engineering Manager (Electrical)
Martin joined the PD Ports team in 2006 as an Electrical Apprentice. Following his successes in his higher education, which was supported by PD Ports, Martin now heads up the entire Electrical department across the PD Ports group. We caught up with him to have a chat about how things have changed since he joined the company 15 years ago.
1. When did you start your apprenticeship and what apprenticeship did you complete?
I started my apprenticeship in Electrical Engineering in 2006. Following on from this, I went on to complete my ONC, HNC, Bachelor’s Degree and Masters in Electrical Engineering, all of which was support by PD Ports.
2. Have you had multiple roles while working at PD Ports, and if so, what were they?
- Following on from my apprenticeship, I have had the following roles:
- Electrical Technician
- Graduate electrical engineer
- Electrical engineer
- Group Engineering Manager Electrical
3. What is your current job title, and does it differ in any way to the apprenticeship you completed?
My current job title is Group Engineering Manager Electrical. In this role, I oversee the management and maintenance of all electrical assets across the PD Ports group. Whilst I still use some of the practical knowledge that I learned in my apprenticeship, my role is now much more strategic as it is more project based in comparison to day to day maintenance.
4. Do you feel PD Ports have been supportive of you throughout your career?
Yes, definitely. Whenever I have wanted to develop or further my skills, PD Ports has always supported me and enabled me to do so.
5. What did you like most about your apprenticeship?
What I liked most about my apprenticeship was the mix of the practical, hands on work, and the theory. The fact that I was based in a real working environment meant I was able to put my knowledge to the test on a daily basis, constantly enabling me to improve my skills.
6. Do you have any advice to current apprentices or those who are looking to start an apprenticeship?
I believe that an apprenticeship gives you a better all rounded skill set than a pure academic route, as you underpin the knowledge and theory that you learn with real life experiences on a daily basis. If you enjoy a more hands on role, or are looking to go into an area of engineering, I would definitely say that an apprenticeship is the best route to take.
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