Callum, modern apprentice mechanical engineer, NHS Lothian

Callum is a modern apprentice mechanical engineer, carrying out repairs and maintenance on the heating system of a large hospital.

"I’m proud to be a key worker during the COVID-19 pandemic because my job is to maintain the hospital and to keep it running. So, with the nurses and doctors that are actually risking their lives during these times, I’m just happy to make sure that the hospital is working well for them to do their job."

Watch our video to learn more about Callum's role.

Hi, my name is Callum Reynolds. I’m an apprentice engineer and I work for NHS Lothian. My career ambitions at school were sort of always, I wanted to go into engineering, speaking to teachers and [attending careers] events, I sort of always wanted to go into that path. I had to do my maths and chemistry at school because I knew that was going to be the qualifications I need for this job. Also, my dad sort of works in maintenance and trades, so it was something I’ve always wanted to be in.

I was attracted to working in the NHS because I was looking for an apprenticeship and my dad was also helping me. On the NHS website, I saw an apprenticeship in engineering, so I really wanted to go for that and thinking about it, I just thought the NHS was a great place to work.

So, I always thought that I’d prefer an apprenticeship over university. In my first year, I went to college for 5 days a week, working on 2 different qualifications. One was an SVQ in Engineering and the other was an NC in engineering.

My day-to-day role would usually be to go around with an experienced tradesman, where at the start of my apprenticeship, I’d get shown how to do some jobs, but as I get on and get a little bit more experience, I’ll then get involved in some of these jobs, which would be repairs and maintenance, and also heating and boilers. On the pipework, we would do repairs and just maintain the heating throughout the hospital.

The most important skills to do my job well would be problem-solving. If a problem occurs where you might need to switch something off, you need to make sure that it won’t affect anywhere else within the hospital.

I’m proud to be a key worker during the COVID-19 pandemic because my job is to maintain the hospital and to keep it running. So, with the nurses and doctors that are actually risking their lives during these times, I’m just happy to make sure that the hospital is working well for them to do their job.