#DYWKeyworker - Niamh Murray - Lifescan

Wednesday, 27th May 2020

Name: Niamh Murray

Job Title: Apprentice Engineer

Company: Lifescan

Hometown: Tain

What attracted you to the industry you are in?

I originally wanted to go to university to study mechanical engineering as I really enjoyed maths and physics at school. However, when I heard about the apprenticeship I knew it was a great opportunity for me to gain both the qualifications I wanted as well as developing hands on skills in the industry I wanted to work in.

How long have you been with the company?

I am just about to go into my final year of my four-year apprenticeship with LifeScan

Describe your day-to-day role;

A normal day consists of doing general maintenance on the machines that make and package our diabetes testing strips. We also go to breakdowns and complete fault finding to get the machines back up and running as quickly as possible. As well as this we help lineside complete projects in the value stream we work in.

What kind of training have you done?Have you completed any professional qualifications?

I have completed a wide range of training whilst completing my apprenticeship. Working along side teams of engineers we are able to gain knowledge from them whilst being trained on how to complete fault finding and how to carry out maintenance on both electrical and mechanical systems. As well as this I have done electrical awareness courses and risk assessor courses.

What skills have you learned?

I have learnt from both my time at the college learning the theory behind the systems I work on and hands skills from working on the systems day to day. I am confident in attending machine breakdowns and completing maintenance activities. As well as this, my apprenticeship has allowed me to develop my personal skills by working with and alongside different teams of people.

Have you completed any professional qualifications?

I have completed my HNC and I am currently completing my HND in Engineering Systems at UHI

Do you like living and working in the Inverness & Highlands?

I enjoy living and working in the Highlands due to being able to live in the countryside and enjoy the scenery the Highlands has to offer as well being able to work in a highly automated factory like LifeScan in Inverness.

What skills are the most important for you to do your job well?

I need to have good interpersonal skills in order to speak to the operators that are reporting faults and in order to work in a team with the engineers to ensure that machines are up and running as quickly as possible. I also am required to have good problem-solving skills to be able to establish what is causing a fault and how it can be fixed

Was there anything about the job that surprised you?

It surprised me how closely the people within the factory need to work with each other in order to meet the production demands- I didn’t realise just how many strips are produced here in Inverness to be sent out to diabetics all around the world.

Is there anything unusual about your role?

The most unusual thing about my role is being a girl in a very male dominated team!

Do you get a lot of support from your company?

Yes, LifeScan try to support you in whatever way they can to allow you to progress in your role and with your studies. We have mentors that help us with any issues that we may have

What’s your favourite part of the job?

I enjoy going to what seems like a complicated issue on a machine and being able to figure out what it is and what is causing it and being able to fix it. I also really enjoy going to events to speak to young people about what we do and why it is such a good career to pursue.

Did you always want to pursue a career in this industry?

Yes, I really enjoyed maths, engineering and physics in school so knew it was the industry I wanted to work in.

What is your advice for young school leavers looking to start an apprenticeship?

It’s really important to look around and see what is out there. If you are applying for an apprenticeship make sure that it and the company seem right for you and do your research and be prepared for any interviews!

What is your career goal? I want to complete a degree in mechanical engineering.

How does it feel to be a KeyWorker on the frontline, supporting the Country’s fight against Covid-19?

LifeScan makes testing strips for diabetics so we are always doing a job that is helping people live a normal life. Diabetics are at risk from the virus so it is really important we are able to keep working to help them and doctors and nurses care for their patients with diabetes. It felt strange initially being on quiet roads and going to work when so many others are working from home but now feels normal as we have adjusted to a new way of working. It feels good to know that we are helping keep the factory running so strips can continue to be produced and sent all over the world to help people with diabetes continue to live a normal life.