Mechanical Engineering Apprentice Megan McWatt has scooped a top honour from her employers and was mentioned in the Scottish Parliament as a result – and she still has a year to go to complete her qualification!
Third year Megan (20), a fitter with INEOS in Grangemouth – who attends Forth Valley College Falkirk Campus on a Thursday to complete her HNC Mechanical Engineering as part of her training for her Modern Apprenticeship in Mechanical Engineering – was presented with the George Hall Trophy to celebrate her MA of the year award with the company.
To commemorate this excellent achievement MSP Alison Harris tabled a motion in the Scottish Parliament in recognition of her work and dedication in winning the honour which is presented in memory of George Hall, who worked at the site for almost 40 years until he passed away in service in 2015. His family donated the award to be presented each year to the best apprentice.
Megan, said: “It is great to be recognised in this way and I am delighted to have won this award. It was also such a surprise to have been mentioned in the Parliament.”
The talented Modern Apprentice is the latest in a growing list of female FVC MAs to claim top awards over the last couple of years, with Ellen Milne (INEOS George Hall winner and FVC Graduation Prize) and Cheryl Pryde (FVC Graduation Prize) excelling in their chosen fields.
Megan developed a love of all things mechanical from her mechanic father and is fascinated by maths as well, so engineering was the perfect fit for her.
She said: “I have always been interested in engines and mechanics and engineering is the closest I can get to it without getting into the motor trade. The college has a lot of pumps that were donated by the industry, and you get to work on them before you go on site in the workplace.
“This sort of thing is what helps develop you confidence in the workshops, where you need to come out of your shell very quickly.
“The lecturers at the college have a great track record in industry and their hands-on experience and attention to detail is a great help to MAs.”
Megan is delighted more and more women are choosing to come into engineering on the MA Programme and she had some great advice for anyone thinking about doing so.
She said: “In my experience schools tends to push you towards university, but with an MA you are getting paid and not getting into debt. You also get all the experience and a qualification at the end of four years. I am looking forward to completing my HNC and have already applied to do the HND as well.
“If you are keen to do something don’t ever let the fact that you are a woman stop you from getting into engineering. It is great and I love it.”
FVC’s MA Manager INEOS, said: “Megan has made excellent progress over the past three years. She has grown in maturity and confidence from the shy person who was very nervous in her first week on site - when she reluctantly had to present her project for the week to the other apprentices - to someone who has made a huge impression on the team on site with her dedication to completing tasks successfully and safely without complaint. Personality wise Megan fits the bill perfectly for the ethos behind the Hall family deciding to sponsor the George Hall Award. I am sure she will go on to become a valued employee of INEOS at the end of her Modern Apprenticeship.”