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Megan’s career is flying at aerospace company thanks to apprenticeship

Engineering apprenticeships ambassador Megan Christie’s career is flying with GE Aerospace Wales, Nantgarw where she is member of a team that repairs, maintains and overhauls commercial aircraft engines.

Megan, 21, who lives in Georgetown, Tredegar, won an Inspiring Skills Wales award and a team silver medal at the WorldSkills UK National Finals in 2022 and an Apprenticeship Award at Coleg y Cymoedd last year.

She was rewarded for her dedication when she received distinctions for each of her 40 assignments during her Apprenticeship in Aeronautical Engineering at Coleg y Cymoedd.

Now, Megan has been shortlisted for the prestigious Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2024 as an Apprentice of the Year finalist.

Highlight of the year for apprentices, employers and work-based learning providers and practitioners, the awards are organised by the Welsh Government and supported by the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW). Headline sponsor is EAL.

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony to be held at ICC Wales, Newport on March 22, 2024. The awards highlight the outstanding achievements of employers, apprentices and work-based learning practitioners.

Megan is now studying for an Engineering Degree with an Integrated Master’s Degree in Design Engineering (MEng) through the Open University which will take nine years and lead to her ultimate goal of becoming a Chartered Engineer.

In her role as an apprenticeship ambassador, she speaks at schools and colleges, takes part in STEM activities and attends career fairs to promote engineering as a career. She also mentors new apprentices at GE Aerospace Wales.

During her apprenticeship, she gained valuable skills and experience across the company and is making a positive contribution to her employer’s goal of overhauling engines in the fastest and safest way possible. 

“The skills I have picked up from working in a multitude of aircraft engine repair workshops within my apprenticeship have allowed me to gain transferrable knowledge and skills that I will carry with me for the rest of my career,” said Megan, who would like to become a design engineer.

“It has also given me opportunities to work within the local community as an apprenticeship ambassador. A personal highlight was when I was invited to speak to engineers in my old college. It was lovely to see where I started and what I had achieved since leaving my college, and it was all thanks to my apprenticeship.”

Jake Thomas, apprentice leader at GE Aerospace Wales, said: “Megan is a fantastic apprentice and a huge role model. She has smashed the stereotype that engineering is just for men by leading the way with the quality of her work and ‘can do’ attitude.”

Economy Minister Vaughan Gething congratulated Megan and all the other finalists.

“Today’s apprentices will be tomorrow’s specialists, and Apprenticeship Awards Cymru allows us to recognise apprentices, work-based learning practitioners, and employers that have gone above and beyond. Their tenacity, passion, and commitment to growing their own careers, the careers of others, and the larger Welsh economy is inspiring. I wish each of the finalists the best of luck at the awards and with their future endeavours.”

Congratulating the finalists, Al Parkes, managing director at EAL, said: “As the specialist awarding organisation and skills partner for the engineering and manufacturing industry, apprenticeships in Wales are especially important to us.

“Apprenticeships play an important role in supporting personal progress through career opportunities and a sense of achievement, while ensuring that employers have the right skills at the right time to keep up with evolving industry needs.

“EAL is committed to encouraging employers to take on apprentices. Marking the achievements of employers, apprentices and work-based learning practitioners at the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru is vital to this.”

For more information about recruiting an apprentice, visit: https://gov.wales/apprenticeships-genius-decision or call 03000 603000.

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