Ruth Skilton - Veolia

Meet Ruth, an Electromechanical Engineering Apprentice here at Veolia. Find out more about what attracted Ruth to this role and what she would say to somebody considering an apprenticeship at Veolia.

Why did you decide to join Veolia?

I decided in college that university wasn’t for me and I wanted to do something hands-on and varied in engineering. I stumbled across a listing for the apprenticeship position here and realised it was exactly what I was after.

Why do you feel proud to work at Veolia?

There’s a lot of waste produced nowadays that still isn’t recyclable or biodegradable, the ERFs turn the waste that would otherwise go to landfill into energy, and it makes me proud to know that, by helping to keep this place running, I’m helping to light up the city and protect the environment!

Are you proud of how far you’ve come during your apprenticeship?

Extremely! When I went to college before, I felt quite lost, my grades dropped from when I was in school and I felt like I’d reached the limit of what I could achieve. Since turning to engineering and going down the apprenticeship path I’ve had nothing but success and I’ve built my skills and confidence up. At the end of 2021 I finally got my certificates that prove that, despite the pandemic, I have achieved distinctions in all units for both my Level 2 and level 3 BTEC qualifications! I am thrilled with how well I’ve done, and I am looking to move into an EC&I role here once I have completed my NVQ in August.

What would you say to someone considering an apprenticeship programme with Veolia?

If this is the industry you want to work in, go for it! My wage has been good, my colleagues have been kind, and I’ve got a good chance at a great career here after my apprenticeship finishes! Veolia has a big focus on diversity and inclusivity amongst its staff, so I feel safe and respected here, which was something I was worried I wouldn’t find when I decided to do engineering. Working at Veolia has given me the chance to excel and build a wide range of skills that will help me whichever route I decide to go, so If you’re considering an engineering apprenticeship and you’re not afraid to get a bit grubby and smelly sometimes, I’d highly recommend Veolia!

What does your current role involve?

For the last 5 months I’ve been working with the Electronic Controls and Instrumentation department, which is responsible for looking after all of the sensors and systems used to automate the plant. I start every day by checking the continuous monitoring analysers that measure the gases that leave the chimney because it’s so important to make sure that they’re reading properly so that we can guarantee that the quantities of greenhouse gases, acids, heavy metals or dust, if any, are as miniscule as can be!

It’s been really interesting to learn about how the devices on the plant interact with each other without the need for human input in order to keep everything running properly and safely! I really like doing the routine maintenance and checks, but my favourite thing to do, whether working in the EC&I, Mechanical or Electrical departments, is getting to fault find and solve what’s happened when something goes wrong - finding all the pieces of the puzzle, figuring out what’s failed, fixing the problem and watching it all work properly again is the most rewarding feeling!

If you are interested in an apprenticeship at Veolia and want to find out more about us, you can visit our profile here. Alternatively, you can visit our website.

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