Royal appointment for Mearns engineer

Oliver Watson gas engineer
Oliver Watson gas engineer

A Newton Mearns British Gas engineer has been down to London, not to meet the Queen, but HRH The Earl of Wessex at St James’s Palace.

After finishing university, 24-year-old Oliver Watson fought off fierce competition to get a place on the British Gas Service and Repair apprenticeship scheme. In January he became a fully qualified gas safe engineer and now covers South Aberdeenshire.

As part of his apprenticeship Oliver completed the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award. He said: “Having done Duke of Edinburgh bronze and silver at school I was keen to complete the set.”

“Over 18 months I kept up a training regime and took part in Tough Mudder. I also volunteered 40 hours as a golf coach at Whitecraigs Golf Club and went trekking in the Lake District.

“During the practice trek the weather was amazing; we were in shorts and t-shirts. We were in for a nasty shock during the real thing last October. It rained non-stop for five days. We had to work closely as a team to be able to successfully map read and navigate to the camp site.

“It was great to see my teammates again at St James’s Palace for the ceremony. I think the DofE is an excellent experience and I’d recommend it to anyone, as long as you don’t mind trekking in the rain.”

British Gas will act as The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award’s Headline Diamond Partner for its 2016 ‘Skills for Work’ campaign, which coincides with the Charity’s Diamond Anniversary next year. Its support will help encourage more schools and businesses to support young people through the prestigious award.