Skip to main content

The “kid constantly in the craft section” now repairs aircraft for a living.

Megan Christie

If anyone wanted to find engineering apprentice Megan Christie when she was in primary school, all they had to do was look in the craft corner. Since then, her love for making things, which followed her throughout her academic journey, has influenced her chosen profession and even won her awards.

Now 21, Megan’s career is taking off with GE Aerospace Wales in Nantgarw. She is a member of a team that repairs, maintains and overhauls commercial aircraft engines – and puts it all down to her natural curiosity. She is also an engineering apprenticeship ambassador.

Megan, who lives in Georgetown, Tredegar with her Mum, Trina, was always making something:

“I was always bringing things home from school for my Mum, even a handbag made of pipe cleaners one day! I was a good student; I liked learning. But I also loved using my hands. It was a standing joke in my house – at Christmas, my older brother Jordan would be given Lego and Meccano sets. He’d spend some time with them, lose interest and wander off to play online games with his friends. I would pick up his abandoned gifts and have them completed before Boxing Day. 

“I always knew I wanted a practical job, and the teachers in my school – King Henry VIII in Abergavenny - were very supportive. They could see my leaning towards STEM subjects and encouraged me to follow my passion.”

Megan went on to complete an apprenticeship in Aeronautical Engineering at Coleg y Cymoedd. Although the word ‘complete’ doesn’t quite do it justice. Megan received distinctions for each of her 40 course assignments. She is now studying for an Engineering Degree with an Integrated Master’s Degree in Design Engineering (MEng) through the Open University which will lead to her ultimate goal of becoming a Chartered Engineer in design engineering.

In her role as an apprenticeship ambassador, she speaks at schools and colleges, takes part in STEM activities and attends career fairs to promote engineering as a career. She also mentors new apprentices at GE Aerospace Wales.

She said: 

“While I didn’t have anyone in my immediate family who was in this industry, my Mum has been a total inspiration to me. She raised me and my brother, who is now in the RAF, on her own for many years. She has been a constant source of support for me, whatever I chose to do. 

“Being an ambassador has given me opportunities to be that source of support for the next generation of apprentices coming through. A personal highlight was when I was invited to speak to engineers in my old college. It was lovely to see where I started and what I had achieved since leaving my college.

“The combination of studies and hands-on learning has worked so well for me; I couldn’t recommend it highly enough for anyone unsure of their next steps.”

Megan is using her increasing experience in the company to make a positive contribution to her employer’s goal of overhauling engines in the fastest and safest way possible. Her dedication to her work has won her an Inspiring Skills Wales award and a team silver medal at the WorldSkills UK National Finals in 2022, as well as an Apprenticeship Award at Coleg y Cymoedd last year. She was also shortlisted as an Apprentice of the Year finalist in the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2024 held in March.

“The skills I have picked up from working in a multitude of aircraft engine repair workshops within my apprenticeship have allowed me to gain transferrable knowledge and skills that I will carry with me for the rest of my career. And it’s all thanks to my apprenticeship.” 

Jake Thomas, apprentice leader at GE Aerospace Wales, said: 

“Megan is a fantastic apprentice and role model. She has smashed the stereotype that engineering is just for men by leading the way with the quality of her work and ‘can do’ attitude.”