Meet the Apprentice: Viktoryia Parkhamovich
Viktoryia Parkhamovich – Aircraft Maintenance Apprentice at GE Caledonian
Viktoryia, 21, was born in Belarus, grew up in Cyprus, and moved to Scotland with her family six years ago.
She became an Aircraft Maintenance apprentice at GE Caledonian, based in Prestwick in 2018 and is now in the final year of her apprenticeship.
Viktoryia tells us why becoming an apprentice was the best thing she has ever done.
“When I was a teenager living in Cyprus, I had ambitions to become a model, and take part in fashion shows. Since my family moved to Scotland, I completely changed my mind. My dad is an Electrician, and I’d always been intrigued by what he did. I decided to do metalwork and woodwork at school, just to try something a bit different to what I’d been used to. These kind of practical subjects were not on the curriculum in Cyprus.
In sixth year I did an Engineering Skills course which was at the Ayr Campus at Ayrshire College. It was really hands on and I absolutely loved it. I was so interesting, and really rewarding. That’s when I decided to think about a career in engineering.
I started with the HNC Aircraft Engineering course before I became an apprentice, which gave me a bit of a head start. It meant that in the first year of my apprenticeship, I went to the Ayr Campus three times a week and worked at GE two days a week.
My typical day
I start at 6.45am, and we work in shift rotations. Right now I’m working in the compressors section, where we assemble compressors and check that they comply with regulations. The mechanic in charge allocates jobs to us. As an apprentice, we always work with someone else, which is good as shadowing a qualified mechanic means I get to ask lots of questions!
When you start the apprenticeship you rotate round every section of the factory. I’ve been around all the sections, and now I’m at the compression section most of the time. If you like hands on work, every section has something different, which makes it so worth it. We use every tool, learn so much and it’s so satisfying.
At GE Caledonian, I am a STEM ambassador. We go to different schools and colleges to talk about the work we do at GE Caledonian, careers in engineering, and how to get involved. I always like to persuade others that it’s the best route to take.
I’m one of four female apprentices at GE. Being a girl in a mostly male environment is great. We all respect each other, and we all get on. When it comes to work everyone helps each other.
I hope to get a permanent job at GE and become a fully qualified mechanic. I’d like to be involved in a section where I get to train apprentices. At some point I’d love to travel with the job, there’s so many opportunities to do so. The aeronautical industry is an amazing, inspirational and motivating place to work.
To anyone thinking of an apprenticeship in the Aeronautical industry, I would say do it!!!! Honestly, I couldn’t shout about it enough. You’re getting taught on the job, and getting paid for it and learning all the time. It just makes sense, and if you would like a practical job, it’s perfect. Everybody says the world is your oyster once you qualify, and I am looking forward to that.
I’m so grateful to be able to call myself an apprentice. It’s the best thing that’s ever happened and would definitely recommend it.