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Young gun… Rachael Palmer


For apprentice Rachael Palmer, drawing large process plants and nuclear reactors is all in a day’s work. And she’s pretty good at it too - Rachael won the North East Advanced Apprentice of the Year award in 2010. Since then, and completing her vocational qualification in Design & Draughting, she has gone on to study for a degree in Mechanical Engineering at Teesside University. Rachael says, “An ECITB Apprenticeship has been invaluable, giving me the solid basis on which to build a professional career.”

The professional ... Malcolm Wall, apprentice of 1991

Malcolm Wall was one of the first ever people to do an ECITB Apprenticeship. As a teenager he spent four years learning the craft of a Plater, since when he’s gone on to a highly successful career in mechanical engineering working on large scale oil, gas and chemical projects in the UK and the Arabian Gulf. In that time Malcolm’s also completed a degree, a post-graduate qualification and a Masters, and has recently been elected a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers! And it all started with an ECITB Apprenticeship…

Jake Rambaldini: welding wizard


If the name Jake Rambaldini sounds like it should belong to a bit of a star….well, maybe that’s because it does! Jake has arguably been the country’s top welding apprentice, representing the UK at no less an event than WorldSkills, the international youth ‘Olympics’ for young talent in industrial skills. He fought off tough competition to achieve the accolade, having already struck gold at SkillWeld, the UK’s own premier welding competition. He has even competed in competitions as far away as Australia!

Jake trained, studied and worked for an ECITB Apprenticeship in welding at Doosan Babcock Energy Services, in one of the country’s biggest engineering construction businesses. Jake has always had an interest in engineering and wanted to be a part of the engineering construction industry from an early age. He said: “I really like hands on work - my school was actually one of the few that covered engineering as a subject in its own right and I really enjoyed studying it. After I’d finished school I didn’t want to go to college so I got a job as a gear box technician, then I applied for an ECITB welding advanced apprenticeship with Doosan, which I started in 2007. The three years of my apprenticeship were hard work but have been extremely rewarding.”

“Not long after finishing” says Jake, “I got my first job. Oil & Gas is the sector that most interests particularly around oil refineries, as I’m fascinated by the whole process of what goes on there. I’m keen to develop my career further and perhaps go into the inspection side of things.”

Eve Taylor: In full control

Eve Taylor knew nothing about engineering construction when she was at school, but thanks to a successful ECITB Apprenticeship in Project Controls she’s now well on her way to building her whole working life in the business.

Eve is employed by AMEC’s Power & Process Europe business. She started an apprenticeship after completing her A-levels, having decided university was not for her.

Eve says: “Doing an apprenticeship gave me the opportunity to earn money whilst learning a profession. I knew nothing about engineering construction, but I heard an advert for apprenticeships on the radio. The appeal of engineering construction is that it’s a business that will never end. With advancing technologies there will always be opportunities to learn and there are lots of different career paths to choose from.”

Eve has never looked back. After achieving her Level 3 qualification and a Foundation Degree in Project Controls, she hopes to use a top up year to achieve a BA Hons in Business Management. In fact, Eve has already proved that she can mix it with the graduates, having joined a company team, ‘AMECable’, which won the ECITB’s national ACTIVE Cup Competition - a success that can only be achieved through teamwork, hard work and a high level of competence.

Eve would now encourage others to follow in her footsteps by doing an ECITB Apprenticeship. ” My peers at college can’t yet say they are forging themselves a clear career. I’m studying towards a debt-free degree, while actually earning money at the same time. I have already travelled a lot, met new people, and learnt new skills on a range of unique projects. It feels good to know the possibilities are pretty much endless.”

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