Introducing Sam Boutwood: Apprentice turned Lead Engineer

Posted: 09.02.2024

‘The sky’s the limit’ says Drax 360 apprentice-turned-lead engineer

For National Apprenticeship Week we wanted to chat to some of the amazing members of our team who began their career in the fire industry as apprentices.

And one such success story is that of Sam Boutwood who began his apprenticeship here at Drax 360 in 2018 and has just been promoted to lead engineer looking after a team that help maintain the fire safety systems at one of the UK’s most prestigious universities.

It’s an inspirational story which underlines the value of undertaking an apprenticeship and shows that it offers a very clear career development path with exciting opportunities.

Not only is Sam fulfilled in his new role, our clients love him too.

“I chose an apprenticeship because I wanted to gain practical, hands-on experience in the field while earning a qualification and selected this path because of its alignment with my interests and values. I valued the opportunity to learn from experienced professionals and felt that an apprenticeship offered a more direct path to a good career,” said Sam.

We talked to Sam about his career journey, what brought him to Drax 360, why he loves his job and how the idea of helping keep people safe drives him every day.


“My job involves supervising our team of engineers, providing first-line tech support to the team, ensuring all pre-planned maintenance KPIs are met, conducting occasional small works and carrying out high level commissioning. Due to the complex nature of the systems we work with, faults can come up very unpredictably, which is why having someone with a good knowledge of them on site is crucial, especially when dealing with life safety systems.”

Learning new things

“The most challenging aspect of my job is keeping up with the status of each fire alarm panel. I must be aware of any faults or issues with the systems, so it is very important that the team check each panel regularly and report any issues to me so as soon as they occur, so we can get them resolved in excellent time.

“My favourite parts of the job are the problem-solving aspect and the satisfaction of seeing a project through from conception to completion. I also enjoy the collaborative nature of the work and the opportunity to work with a diverse range of clients and colleagues.”


“A typical day can involve fixing faults, carrying out commissioning, troubleshooting any issues that may arise meetings with clients or contractors. I’m also here to support the team and check in with them regularly throughout the day to ensure they are carrying out their work efficiently and to a high standard. Each day brings new challenges and opportunities to learn and grow.”

Job security

“Progressing from apprentice to lead engineer has been incredibly rewarding. It’s a testament to the hard work and dedication I’ve put into my career, and I’m excited about the new challenges and responsibilities that come with this role.”


“We have access to a range of perks, such as ongoing training and development opportunities, and a supportive work environment which values work-life balance.

My role provides a really healthy level of work-life balance to ensure I enjoy my cooking, time at the gym, running and playing the guitar. I used to be in a band so I’m hoping to get in the recording studio again at some point!”

Support from colleagues

“Working with Drax 360 is fantastic because of the collaborative environment and the company’s commitment to innovation and excellence. The support and opportunities for growth have been instrumental in my professional development.”


“Knowing that my work directly contributes to the safety and security of others makes it all worthwhile. There’s a sense of fulfilment that comes from knowing that what I do matters and makes a difference in people’s lives. In addition to this I just really enjoy the work that I do.”


“The most satisfying aspect of my job is seeing the positive impact of our work on our clients and their communities. Knowing that we’ve helped to protect lives brings a great sense of satisfaction and pride. In addition, resolving issues and faults is very rewarding! Fixing things is what makes me tick, and being able to rectify these things as my job is perfect for me.”

A message to others

“I would absolutely encourage other people to go into the fire safety industry as a career! The fire safety industry offers a rewarding and fulfilling career path with ample opportunities for growth and development. The sky really is the limit if you apply yourself!

“My tip for anyone considering a career in fire safety is to pursue hands-on experience through apprenticeships or internships. Take advantage of every opportunity to learn, grow, and stay curious and proactive in seeking out new challenges and experiences.”

If you want to explore apprenticeships at Drax360 or any of our sister companies across the Obsequio Group, simply reach out to us here

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