Zac Mooney - Modern Apprentice
Project Management

06 February 2024

Having recently joined our Modern Apprentice scheme, Zac is already making great headway assisting our hydropower programme.  As part of National Modern Apprentice Week, we chatted with Zac to find out more…

What made you take up a Modern Apprenticeship?

Zac Mooney

Whilst I enjoyed school, I knew early on that I wanted to jump straight into the world of work. I tried various jobs after finishing school, but I really wanted to stretch myself.  I spotted an opportunity for a Modern Apprenticeship in Project Management and that sounded right up my street.  Not only would I gain practical experience, but I could also go to college and gain a recognised qualification. 

I was a little worried about my age though.  I thought that Modern Apprenticeships were for those straight out of school and thought I’d missed the boat.  Thankfully, this isn’t the case at all.  There are plenty of other Modern Apprentices in this year’s intake who span various age groups, so lesson learned not to assume anything!

What have you been doing in your new role?

For the first few months it’s been mostly been about getting up to speed with hydropower.  There’s a lot to get my head around but I’m really enjoying it.  

One of the projects I’m helping with is a hydro scheme that uses a pressure valve based near Falkirk.  I’ve walked past the valve chamber many a time as I live quite close by and didn’t know what it was.  I’m now helping with environmental investigations to help consider the impact of the project on fish, trees, and protected species.  It’s fascinating and I’m surprised at all the many things that need to be considered to develop this type of scheme.

What have you enjoyed the most?

For me, the whole experience has been great.  From the moment I attended the Modern Apprentice Induction to working in my current role, I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity.  The team I work with have been brilliant – from day one they’ve supported me in all kinds of areas.  John Lenehan, my mentor, has been particularly great to work with. I’ve learned so much from him and have a better appreciation of the world of engineering.

I’m also enjoying being part of a Modern Apprentice working group who have been tasked with finding solutions to reduce carbon emissions.  My team’s idea is all about tracking water usage without using a metering system.  Having presented our idea to some of Scottish Water’s directors, it is now being developed further.  I’m really excited to see how far this can go.

Zac (4th from left) visiting a treatment works with other Modern Apprentices

What are your ambitions for the future?

I’m keen to pursue a permanent role in project management – and if that’s in hydropower all the better.  Climate change is affecting so many places across the world and if I can help play a part, however small, I’d be very happy. Horizons and Scottish Water are also great companies to work for and I’m hoping plenty of doors will open along the way.

John Lenehan, Zac’s mentor, sums up Zac’s experience so far… 

Zac has been within us for nearly 6 months now and has proved himself to be very capable. He’s keen to learn, very proactive and has been a huge asset to our team.

Already he has taken ownership of a range of different activities and is showing good ability to manage these. He has certainly made a great start to life in Horizons! We’re delighted to have him on board!

Click here for more info on Scottish Water’s Modern Apprenticeship Scheme.

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