Name: Chelsea Malcolm
Qualification: Advanced Maintenance Electrical/Electronic Apprenticeship
Chelsea Malcolm - Engineering Apprentice at National Grid Rochester Photo Credit: Jason Alden

Chelsea successfully achieved her Advanced Maintenance Electrical/Electronic Apprenticeship at National Grid, Isle of Grain and has been progressing further and further! IPS caught up with Chelsea to see how her Apprenticeship has helped since achieving. Chelsea continued her employment with National Grid and has recently been promoted to a managerial role and encourages and supports other apprentices within the company.

Chelsea’s story;

“I achieved my GSCE’s and completed an AS level at 6th form when I decided an apprenticeship was the route I wanted to take, as I was now looking for a career. My parents had always recommended them to me by stating that you gain valuable skills in an apprenticeship and I didn’t want to study for years and come away with no life skills. I liked the idea that with apprenticeships you are earning and learning and so, I started a business apprenticeship. However, I realised early on that the environment was not for me and that I needed something more hands on. To be honest I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do but I had always had an interest in Engineering and so that’s why the vacancy for an apprenticeship at National Grid jumped out at me.”

Chelsea was already registered to be an apprentice, so started to search the GOV website:  to see what was available and the National Grid Engineering Apprenticeship had been posted.

“When I saw the engineering apprenticeship, I researched the company and my interest increased at the assessment day, I really enjoyed it and I knew this was the career I wanted.”

“I enjoyed my apprenticeship, it was difficult, but 100% worth it. The first year was a full year at the IPS apprentice training centre in Rochester, followed by a 2nd Year that was split between me being based between the National Grid and the IPS apprentice training centre in Rochester. It was good, as my workplace recognised and was accommodating to the studying and IPS coursework that I needed to do and were on board with my needs to arrange any additional meetings with my trainer to help me through.”

“The Deadlines set were achievable with the constant support of both my workplace and IPS and IPS were helpful with the benefit that a lot of my trainers had been in the industry and could put theory to reality for me before I went out and experienced the work I would be expected to do. I believe that you pick up a lot more skills than just your apprenticeship and had Safeguarding lessons with my trainers and at my workplace on Wellbeing. We went through complex regulations and National Grid also sent me on a training course in Germany for additional support of which now lets me run the offloading and loading of ships, which means we have saved on the service contract we had as my responsibilities mean we can now do this in-house.”

Since achieving her apprenticeship, Chelsea has gone on to complete a Higher National Certificate in Electronical Engineering and spent 3 years in the Technician role which her apprenticeship was training her for where she has since gained even more knowledge and skills within. Recently the role of Control & Instrumentation Assistant Engineer became available at National Grid and Chelsea wanted to go aim higher with progression so spoke to her boss and went for the interview of which she was successful with.

“I’ve been in my new role for a couple months and I’m now 2nd in command to my manager. I’m enjoying the future progression to management and learning people management along the way. As a Technician, I didn’t really need to think about people skills, so this is a new skill I have learned. I now must look after people and my organisational skills have improved as I am held responsible for the planning of all works in my remit.”

“I also mentor an apprentice in my team by having one to one sessions and here I can use my knowledge and experience to help as I can relate to what they are doing and know how hard it can be at times. National Grid are good at providing ex apprentices as mentors for the new apprentices coming in and creating a yearly plan, making sure they are on track and learning what they need to do to take care of them.”

“National Grid use IPS, as they understand and cater to our needs, specialise in Engineering and it helps that they are local and always supportive.”

The apprenticeship has helped Chelsea with her progression and she has progressed to a managerial position at National Grid. Having now been with them for 7 years, Chelsea is really enjoying her work, but would still like to progress further.

“I’m really happy here at National Grid and love career progression, I’m really enjoying my new managerial role and I still feel like I’m learning here all the time and have gained so much knowledge. Now I’ve gone further, I know what I want to do and although I do not want to move away from the practical elements of working with tools and being onsite, I would look to progress in to a managerial role in the future, my trainers were always offering courses and ways to up skill so it has given me the drive to consider this in the future. “

“Apprenticeships are a great way to learn while working and I really do recommend them. They give you real life skills while achieving the qualification you set out to do and are a great foundation for a career. The knowledge and skills that are obtained can be used anywhere and the most important thing for me was that I knew what I was doing in my job while doing it and getting onsite experience and knowledge. This gave me good real life examples to put into my studies. “

IPS would like to congratulate Chelsea; after completing her Advanced Maintenance electrical/electronic Apprenticeship, and working in full-time employment, Chelsea has recently progressed to a managerial role and we wish her every success in the future!

IPS greatly encourage women in Engineering. If you would like more information on our Engineering Apprenticeships, please click here for Engineering Apprentice Page


Top Photo. Photographer Credit: Jason Alden

If you would like to find out more about IPS’s apprenticeships in Engineering, please call 01634 298800