Stuart Rattray joined British Gas as an apprentice and is now the Engineering Academy Specialist. Read more on why Stuart is passionate about apprenticeships and how he can confidently say - he loves going to work everyday.
What do you do?
I am the Engineering Academy Specialist at British Gas, (owned by Centrica).
What does your role involve?
Essentially, I am responsible for helping to lead the British Gas Engineering apprenticeship programme, and setting out the training operations across British Gas’ Learning Hubs, inspiring a future generation.
How did your journey begin?
After leaving school at 16, I took my first steps on the career ladder as an apprentice engineer at Scottish Gas’ Motherwell depot. I began to progress quickly and at 25, I was promoted to service technician.
“I chose to earn and learn at the same time.”
Was choosing the apprenticeship route the right decision?
It certainly was. I began to develop a real passion for sharing knowledge and skills with other colleagues, and so I decided to apply for a role as a trainer. At the time, I became Scottish Gas’ youngest ever gas trainer! My apprenticeship experience gave me that insight and allowed me to pursue my goal.
You have great experience over the years…
I eventually landed the role of Scottish Gas’ training centre manager in Glasgow, which really helped with my management experience. I was developing new qualifications and standards, resulting in my current role as Engineering Academy specialist.
Did going down the apprenticeship route help you become who you are today?
Absolutely. I could have chosen the university route, but I chose to earn and learn at the same time. It also introduced me to the world of engineering!
What’s great about being an apprentice?
As an apprentice, you become part of the culture of a company. You feel like what you do really matters. I’ve been an apprentice and have only moved forwards in my career – trust your instincts. I’m living proof that you don’t have to go to university to have a rewarding and successful career.
Would you recommend people to at least consider an apprenticeship when making career choices?
Of course. The opportunities are endless, once you’re in the door you’re not just restricted to one role – there’s a world of opportunity you can tap into. When I started as an apprentice engineer, I never thought I’d end up leading the training operation for future apprentices.
It’s safe to say you love your job?
I’ve been on an incredible journey over the course of my career and I’ve still got the same hunger I had all those years ago. I’ve spent all of my years at work feeling like it’s not even work! I think a lot of that’s down to the satisfaction in seeing people I’ve trained in the past go on to become senior managers. It’s fantastic to see how they’re doing and how they’ve progressed.