Darren Kelly

Lead Learning & Development Coach (Engineering Training)

Engineering is a lifestyle, not just a job, and if you are passionate about engineering, you will enjoy the good times and learn from the challenging times.

What led you to work for PETA?

Born and raised in a small fishing town in South Devon, my interests and hobbies have always been based around Boats, Engineering, and the Sea. Upon leaving my sleepy little town, I joined the British Army as a Marine Engineer and travelled to places such as Norway, Cyprus, Africa and Central America, expanding my knowledge and skills within the mechanical and electrical maintenance fields. I spent the next few years moving through the ranks and gaining the vital skills required to lead a highly skilled, motivated and knowledgeable team of engineers and technicians under some gruelling conditions at times.

In the last few years of service, I opted to gain qualifications in teaching as I thoroughly enjoyed imparting my knowledge onto the younger recruits and new soldiers. I completed qualifications to prepare for a future career in teaching and training.

I knew PETA as a highly effective and respected training provider from family members who had received high quality training over the years. I applied to work with PETA as a Training Assessor in Engineering in 2015. Since then, I have completed a multitude of CPD, which have enhanced my knowledge and Skill set. After a sabbatical to spend time at home, I returned to PETA and moved into my current position as the Lead Learning and Development Coach for Engineering.

What is your role at PETA and what drives you to do what you do?

My role at PETA is to lead the effective, Engineering field team who coach and support our apprentices through their learning journey. From their sign-up date, all the way through to their individual End Point Assessments. The pride that I get from seeing the apprentices through their journey towards full and rewarding careers is what drives me in my role.

What knowledge/experience do you draw upon for your role?

Spending 15 years as a Marine Engineer has given me the experience and knowledge of electromechanical maintenance and commissioning, welding and refrigeration installations. An interest and desire to continue learning has meant that I am always looking to enhance my knowledge in areas that I am not familiar with. I can often draw from elements of my past engineering roles to enhance the learning and understanding of my apprentices.

How do you approach your role on a day-to-day basis? What skills are required?

The key skills to be successful in this role are to be self motivated, organised and empathetic. There are times when you must think on your feet and make decisions which ultimately will affect a young person’s working life/ career path. You need to be able to follow through with your commitments and ensure that you are consistent in the standard of your approach to assessment, standardisation and coaching.

What are you passionate about outside of work?

I am an avid biker and spend my free time restoring motorcycles.

What are your personal values, and what is important to you?

Commitment to quality and energised for each day.