A day in the life of…Lindsay Briggs, ABP Electrical Apprentice in Ipswich

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Our property division brings together an unrivalled land bank spanning 21 multi-modal locations around the country, with 960 hectares of port-based development land.

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Drawing on 60 years of experience, ABP Marine Environmental Research (ABPmer) provides specialist marine environmental research and consultancy services.

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UK Dredging (UKD) operates the largest British-owned dredging fleet and specialises in the provision of reliable and cost effective port maintenance dredging services.

ABP DevCo

ABP DevCo creates value from non-port-related development of underutilised land by working collaboratively with stakeholders.

I joined ABP in Sept 2017, aged 29.  I am currently in the 2nd year of a 4-year Level 3 Maintenance Operations Engineering Technician Apprenticeship (Electrical).  I work in a lovely team of Maintenance Engineers at Ipswich, who have adjusted surprisingly well to having the first female in their team.  

One day I could be carrying out domestic electrics, the next I’ll be fixing a boat or crane, it never gets boring.

The job however is the easy part, as I have to juggle this around being mum to 18 month old twin boys, who take up all my time at home, with very little time for relaxing.

I love working here at the Port of Ipswich, because every day, the job is varied.

Here’s an insight into my typical (juggling act) of a day:

0600 Everybody up

0615 – 0655 Chaos entails and with the help of hubby, we start with the toddlers’ breakfast, getting them ready, tidying up, getting myself ready, attempt to drink coffee I made earlier.

0655 Give everyone a kiss goodbye and run out the door, drinking the cold coffee I didn’t finish earlier.

0700 Drive to work.

0750 Arrive at work and try to drink a hot coffee, whilst putting on PPE.

0800 Morning briefing, where all the jobs are issued.  Finally, able to concentrate on one job at a time.

0830 Head up a crane to start servicing it, isolating, begin cleaning contacts and tightening connections.

1000 Disembark crane and enjoy a hot cup of coffee with my team.

1030 Back up the ladder to continue servicing.  A ship is arriving on the dock earlier than anticipated and we get a call on the radio to close up the panels and put the crane back into service so it can unload the vessel after lunch.

1300 Re-energise crane ready for work and head back to mess room for some lunch.

1400 A piece of plant has broken down over lunch, we take a van out to where it’s broken down and attempt to start it, in order to move it out of the way or ideally, back to the workshop.  Fault finding begins, with locating the service manual, hopefully finding out why it’s failed.  Head to stores to obtain replacement parts.

1600 Begin putting the piece of plant back together again, in the hope its fixed, running tests to ensure its functionality before signing off the job ticket and returning it to Operations for use.

1645 Back to the mess room to clean up and fill out paperwork before getting back into casual clothes and heading home.

1700 Leave work and sit in traffic wishing I had the ability to teleport as I’d regain 2 hours a day!

1755 Finally arrive home, sort tea.

1820 Bath time for the twins and PJs.

1840 Pour their milk and have snuggles and story before bed.

1900 Bedtime for twins.

1930 Serve dinner for Hubby and myself, tidying house, cleaning bathroom.

2030 Make lunch and pack my bag for the morning.

2130 Finally bed!  Then realise I need to do an online shop!

I love being an Engineer and having to think outside the box to problem solve.

Why do I do this? It’s not for the money, as I only break even once childcare and fuel costs are paid. I work very hard at college to obtain the highest marks possible.  Other students may laugh at me when I work through my breaks, ensuring I don’t need to take assignment work home. 

I work with the best team, and have excellent supervisors and I’m constantly learning new skills.

I can operate machines I couldn’t even name before I started at ABP.  I want to prove that women can do this job just as well as men  and hope that I’m succeeding well.  This is the first job I can honestly say I enjoy doing and it’s a far cry from the stresses of motherhood.  Am I exhausted? Totally, but I know this apprenticeship is worth it – I have two little reasons each night I get home from work.

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