Being an Apprentice Engineer in the Army

Farrah is an Apprentice Plant Operator. We spoke to her when she was two months into her five month training, where she has been working with heavy vehicles and finding out what life as a British Army Royal Engineer can bring.

What made you consider a Plant Operator role?

I wanted to join the military and realised I wasn’t getting any younger so I went to the careers office. It’s quite nerve-wracking going through those doors but I came out knowing I wanted to follow the dream I’ve always had.

I’m a hands on kind of person and like to be doing something all the time. During my basic training I got to speak with lots of different people and hear about their experiences, which helped me choose my specialism. 

What is your typical day?

It’s early doors at the moment, I have to make sure my bed is immaculate and parade every morning before heading over for training. Every day is different, which I like, otherwise I’d get bored.

I’d never be able to just sit in an office as I can’t sit still.  We do a variety of different digs with heavy vehicles and training. I really like the night digs where we work in complete darkness.

I’m also studying Maths a couple of evenings a week.

What skills have you learnt during training?

I feel more confident now. You get chucked into situations you’d never even dream of and afterwards you feel like you’ve really achieved something. If you want to challenge yourself then being in the Army is the right thing for you.

There are so many opportunities for training. As a Plant Operator apprentice I have gained my driving license and am being trained to add new vehicles to it.

If I was to leave the Army in the future, I could use my qualifications to work on a construction site.

Have previous jobs helped you as a Plant Operator?

I love being in the army, it’s definitely better than what I used to do. I previously worked as a Manager for a family run business and was in charge of a team and know that if I was ever asked to organise something in my new role, I’d be more than capable. Those skills have been passed along.

Where would you like your role to take you?

I’d love to go back to my training site and teach new recruits. Having the satisfaction of knowing you’ve helped a person is something I’d really like to do.

I’d like to say that I’d do a full career in the Army, I’d like to go far… we’ll see.

Learn more about the different jobs in the Army by visiting the Army recruitment website.

If you’re looking for an engineering role, visit the Find a Job portal for vacancies in your area. For more advice and real-life stories, check out the My Way In website.