To celebrate Women in Engineering Day, Shrewsbury Colleges Group is championing some of its female apprentices who are making their mark in their careers already.
The College offers a range of Apprenticeships from Intermediate to Higher Apprenticeships in disciplines such as Fabrication and Welding, Manufacturing, Maintenance and Product Design and Technical Support.
Lily Glanville, 19, from Ruyton-XI-Towns, studied an Apprenticeship in Fabrication & Welding with Hollinbrow and now works for the Hawk Group in Telford.
She transferred to an Apprenticeship from her full time course after three months, taking the skills and knowledge she had gained with her.
She said: “I started on a completely different course in a different subject area, but wasn’t enjoying it. My dad did Welding & Fabrication at the College as an adult and he really enjoyed it and let me have a go. I am very practical and fell in love with it. I don’t worry about the fact I am a girl in engineering. It’s all about experience, as long as you come across confident and strong.
“I really enjoyed the course and feel I am on the right path. If I hadn’t got the Apprenticeship, I would have gone onto the Level 3 full time and got a job from there. Now, once I have completed my Intermediate Apprenticeship, I’m still going to gain the Level 3 qualification through my Advanced Apprenticeship. Having gained employment already it’s helped me to develop my skills further. Getting a job and experience at my age is what everybody wants. I am sure I will be able to get other jobs more easily now. I want a career in Engineering and I want to progress to a supervisor role.”
Belinda Nightingale, 18, from Telford, is a Technical Apprentice at Ricoh. She said: “I have an interest in Engineering as I was brought up around it and after completing my A Levels, decided to look for an Apprenticeship in Engineering. I’m really enjoying my Apprenticeship and developing my skills and knowledge really quickly.
“There were a lot on online tests with the application process and two interviews for me to get the job with Ricoh. There were 96 applicants and they took on three and two of those were female, which I think is a really positive statement. I wouldn’t have been able to do the things I can do now, it if it wasn’t for the training I am getting at Shrewsbury College.”
National Women in Engineering Day was launched for the first time in the UK on 23 June, 2014 and aims to raise awareness and encourage more women to get into the sector.
In 2017, a survey revealed that only 11% of the engineering workforce in the UK was female (wisecampaign.org.uk). Government statistics also show that the UK is lagging behind other European countries such as Latvia, Bulgaria and Cyprus, who have almost 30% of women in engineering roles (Gov.uk).
Shrewsbury Colleges Group offers a number of full and part-time courses, Apprenticeships, Higher Education as well as bespoke training for the sector in their industry-standard workshops, which have seen over £1m investment in the last 18 months.
The equipment was largely thanks largely to £500k in funding from the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), via its Growth deal with Government to develop one of three advanced manufacturing training hubs in the region.
The College added a further £250k investment and with gifts from a number of other companies, including Status Metrology, who put £100k towards metrology equipment and software for the College.
Training is available throughout the year and the College is still taking applications for the next academic year starting in September 2018.
For more information on A Levels call 01743 235491. For more information about vocational courses and Apprenticeships call 01743 342342. The next College Advice Event is on July 11 from 5-7pm at the London Road Campus.