Reflecting on my Sterling apprenticeship: Chris Archibald, Mechanical Maintenance Engineer

10th Feb 2022

Chris Archibold, Sterling apprentice in front of the Sterling signHi, my name is Chris Archibald, I am 21 and a Mechanical Maintenance Engineer here at Sterling Pharma Solutions. I have been employed here at Sterling for over four years and have just come out of my time as a Mechanical Apprentice.

As a Mechanical Maintenance Engineer my job is to maintain all mechanical equipment that we have here on site, including vessels, pumps, gear boxes and mechanical seals, to keep the plant working safely and effectively.

I enjoy being a Mechanical Maintenance Engineer because it’s a very hands-on job and every day I am learning something new about the plants and their equipment. It’s a very exciting job, as you come face to face with challenges daily, which you have to overcome and fix.

I have just completed my Level 3 Science Industry Maintenance Technician apprenticeship, during which I completed a BTEC in Mechanical Engineering. This provided me with knowledge about a range of engineering concepts and theory. I also completed an NVQ Extended Diploma in Engineering Maintenance, which helped me to develop my practical skills.

These qualifications have helped me as an apprentice to learn new skills that I didn’t know before I left school, aged 16, such as milling, turning, fitting and electrical installs. In addition to these certificates, I had mentors at Sterling who trained me in how to do the job. This provided me with hands-on experience to go alongside my college work.

To students who are interested in an apprenticeship at Sterling, the advice that I would give you is to go to career fairs and get an idea of what an apprenticeship is all about. Research the company to get an idea of what they make and be willing to learn a trade and be confident.

If I could give my younger self some advice, I would tell myself to ask more questions, don’t be scared to suggest new ways that equipment could be fixed, and have more confidence and self-belief.

Now that I have completed my apprenticeship, the next step for me is to keep learning my trade and learning new skills, and hopefully progress with my mechanical career here at Sterling.

Overall my apprenticeship at Sterling has been the best choice that I have made in my life, I’ve learnt a lot of new things, have a career I can be proud of, and everyone in the engineering department is always willing to help.

Application’s for Sterling’s 2022 intake of apprentices are due to open in Spring 2022. Please make sure to follow us on social media to stay up to date.

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