National Apprentice Week 2022 - Q&A with Brendan

09 February 2022

As part of National Apprentice Week 2022, we have done a Q&A with Brendan Balloch about what it’s like to do an apprenticeship at Peel Ports Group.

Tell us a bit about yourself and why you decided to become an apprentice?

My name is Brendan Balloch, and I’m an Apprentice Mechanical Engineer at Peel Ports Clydeport. I felt the apprentice route was the best possible route for me as I can study with college and then put what I have learnt into practice at work. I find that this really helps strengthen my knowledge and understanding of what I have learnt, and the practical experience I gain within the workplace is invaluable for my future career as a fully qualified engineer. 

How did you find the application process?

The application process was straightforward as I heard about the role locally, and because I live within one mile of my workplace, I felt it would be very suitable.

To others seeking advice on the application process, I would simply get to know the company through the website, what operations we undertake here at Clydeport and our other port locations. Do not let someone choose your career path for you; choose what is right for you!


Describe your typical week and what do you enjoy most?

A typical week in Clydeport can vary each day! For example, one day I could be assisting with the servicing of straddle carriers or our Ship to Shore cranes, and the next day I could be covering breakdowns and helping with the overall site maintenance.

I really enjoy the variety of jobs I carry out as they require a different perspective on thinking. Every job is never the same as the last, and there are always new obstacles that require more thinking.

How do you find balancing work life with college life?

I find balancing college and work a good ratio. I attend college one day throughout the week, which allows me to spend more time gaining real-life experience in the workplace, which benefits my college work. I have received a lot of mentoring throughout my apprenticeship from the experienced maintenance team; each individual has a vast amount of knowledge they have shared with me to ensure I aspire to become what I want to be.

What are the highlights of your apprenticeship so far?

I feel gaining myself an A grade in Mechanical Engineering Higher National Certificate (HNC) was a big highlight of my apprenticeship; this is a time I felt most proud of myself. Another highlight would be the first time I completed a full engine overhaul on a carrier as this is a big job and requires a lot of precision works such as torque specs, alignment etc. 


Where do you see your longer-term career?

My long term career will be carried out in Peel Ports as I enjoy gaining knowledge from my journeymen and aspire to be in their position one day.

What advice would you give to others thinking about an apprenticeship?

To others looking for an apprenticeship, I would not hold back as it is the best way to gain knowledge, experience and qualifications all at the same time.