Christopher Allan: Graduate Engineer at SGS UK Ltd

Why did you choose to train as an Engineering apprentice?
The engineering apprenticeship was a way for me to gain further education in the form of an
MSc qualification, whilst also working towards registration for CEng.

What route did you take to do this apprenticeship, e.g. GCSE/A-levels etc.?
I completed GCSE, A-levels, and an undergraduate degree in Aeronautical Engineering.

What do you enjoy most about the apprenticeship?
The main thing I can say is probably that it is providing me with an opportunity to better
myself and my engineering knowledge in order to apply it to my work.

What projects are you working on at the moment?
My role at the moment is focussed around certification of pressure equipment, i.e.
transportable gas cylinders, amongst many other things. Other projects include, but are not
limited to; welding procedure qualification, and occasionally being the managing affiliate for
certification of products onto the Russian market.

What does a typical day involve?
No two days are the same really, but a typical day may involve a bit of light admin in the
morning, followed by some work on specific projects (namely we do a lot of work for one
affiliate in particular which requires some attention at least once a day), maybe grab some
lunch, and then back to anything which is priority for completion at that given moment.

What are some of the key challenges in your role?
At the moment, definitely trying to juggle quite a large amount of admin alongside my
technical role. We are a small team of 3 within our business, and I have taken over a lot of
the work around creating job files, invoicing, purchase order creation etc.

What do you think are the benefits of an apprenticeship?
An apprenticeship is a great way to learn whilst getting paid. To know I can/ will be able to
put into practice some of the things I’m learning on my degree course is very satisfying. For
me it was quite a straight forward path to getting chartered, which I will hopefully gain on
completion of the End-point assessment. Potential for recognition within the company for
striving to improve oneself.

What are your future plans?
My future plans are to complete this apprenticeship – hopefully having gained CEng, and
work my way up to Senior Engineer within the company I work for. This will allow me to
continue to use a lot of what I have learnt and will learn throughout the degree, by allowing
me to take on a role in which I will undertake a lot of pressure systems design verification

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