A FORMER call centre worker has swapped her headset and keyboard for a boiler suit and work boots after completing an apprenticeship with Teesside power giant Sembcorp.
Stacey Ritchie, from Redcar, is now a fully-fledged process operator at the firm’s plant in Wilton after completing a level two process NVQ with the firm.
Two years ago, Stacey, 24, was faced with redundancy from her job at Wilton’s OC5 call centre, before Sembcorp stepped in with the offer of a process technician adult apprenticeship.
She will soon be joined by Nick Tann, Steven Wilkes and Stuart Slater, who are nearing the completion of their training.
Stacey said: “I started as an apprentice two years ago. The call centre I was working in relocated to Leicester and a group of us decided to take up the option of an offer to become engineering apprentices.
“It was a two-year apprenticeship – I’m now a full-time process operator working on shifts.
“I’d always fancied doing something like this, learning a trade and working in that kind of environment.”
Sembcorp, which employs 400 people on Teesside and has 20 apprentices, operates two power stations – Wilton Power Station and the Sembcorp Biomass Power Station – and runs one of Europe’s largest water treatment plants as well as two gas turbines and a set of package boilers.
Stacey, who is hoping to study for more engineering qualifications, is now working at the site’s coal and wood boilers, and also runs essential safety checks on the site equipment.
She said: “I love what I do at the moment. I mainly work with the boilers, coal and wood. There’s always new things to learn – you never stop learning.”