A Day In The Life Of A Vital Apprentice

As part of our celebrations for National Apprenticeship Week, we caught up with Technical Apprentice, Aidan Whetham, who is currently working on site at Torry Heat Network.

Aidan, please could you tell us a little bit more about yourself…

Hey, I’m Aidan, I’m 19 years old and I’ve been a Vital Energi apprentice since September 2022. Before that I was studying, and in my spare time I coached children aged from 18 months to 12 years in community clubs and football nursery schemes. I still enjoy watching and playing football at evenings and weekends with my friends.

What attracted you to be an apprentice at Vital Energi?

I think apprenticeships are a great way for young people to enter into the world of work, especially into the energy industry. It’s a really exciting time and I think the industry will continue to grow over the next few years and throughout my lifetime. I’ve always had an interest in learning and understanding renewables so the opportunity to become an apprentice with Vital was something I couldn’t pass up on. My dad is also a Project Manager at Vital, so I’ve heard a lot from him whilst growing up and wanted to explore my interest further and develop my knowledge and skills.

Can you tell us a bit about the project that you’re working on?

I’m currently on site on the Torry Heat Network project, which is a district heating scheme with an energy centre that is supplied by an EFW (energy from waste) plant. It will use the non-recyclable rubbish from Aberdeen City and convert it into power. During this process, steam is generated which is then converted into hot water and pumped around almost 300 homes in the Torry area of Aberdeen via a 3.7 mile network of underground pipes. We’re currently working on the civil engineering, laying more pipework in the ground as the network continues to grow at pace.

What have you learned so far from working on this project?

I didn’t understand all the moving parts within project management and delivery, and now I think I’m really developing a sound knowledge of all the aspects by being put in at the deep end (but with support). I really enjoy being hands on and going through the equipment schedule, from contacting supply chain partners and ensuring parts are on-site ready for installation, and when mechanical contractors are ready to install them.

What’s been a highlight for you whilst working on site?

The biggest highlight is watching the project unfold, from the early stages to now and beyond. It’s really rewarding to see my involvement, and the team’s hard work come to life every day during the delivery.

Is the apprenticeship what you expected it to be?

It’s a lot more than I expected, but in a good way. I didn’t expect to be hitting the ground running as much as I have done. I’ve really enjoyed being part of the team and learning from experts within their field, with responsibilities from the get-go.

What’s next after your apprenticeship? Where would you like to see yourself in the next 5 years

As part of my apprenticeship, over the next 2 years, I’ll do a rotation across different departments of the business to learn more and see what I enjoy the most. After this I’ll hopefully return to permanently join an on-site team, helping with project delivery, as I feel that I’m more suited to being on the delivery side of hopefully lots of different energy projects in the future.

If you’re considering the renewable energy and heat networks industry as a career, our apprenticeship scheme is now open. Click here for more information.