Eloise Shaw wanted to be an engineer from a young age and after leaving school in Sheffield (Handsworth Grange) with mainly Bs in her GCSEs the talented 16-year-old secured a place as a Mechanical Manufacturing apprentice at the AMRC Training Centre.
“My Grandad was a turner and he had a double garage with machinery like fitting benches and a pillar drill which I loved as child,” she said. “He always used to let me play with them but would say: ‘don’t tell your mum’!
“I lived close by to the AMRC and I saw it being built. When my mum told me it was an engineering college we came to have a look around. I got on the shop floor and I thought it looked really good.”
“Apprenticeships weren’t really advertised much to me at school but once I expressed an interest in the AMRC my teachers were supportive.”
The 16-year-old like all the AMRC apprentices had to sit through an assessment centre – which ensures only the right candidates go through - before she was offered interviews with engineering companies in the area.
She impressed bosses enough at Sheffield-based cutting tool specialists Technicut for them to offer her an apprenticeship. “I was so happy when Technicut offered me a job and I’m really enjoying what I’m doing,” added Eloise.
“I’ll be at the AMRC training centre for six months on the shop floor followed by an additional three months on the CNC machines before I go back to Technicut to start as a trainee CNC machinist.
“My employer asked in my interview if I would want to further develop and do the foundation degree, I want to go as far as I can. I like to do design so I might look at CAD.
“For me an apprenticeship is the best pathway, I get to learn while earning money. My friends go to college in the week and then have Saturday jobs. They wonder why I’ve got so much money!”
And it doesn’t bother Eloise that she is still one of a few girls to enter the engineering profession but she thinks more could be done to encourage talented young females into the profession. “I think schools should do more to encourage girls into engineering from a young age,” she said.
“It seemed when I was at school the boys were pushed more towards what are seen as ‘masculine’ subjects such as woodwork and metalwork and the girls were pushed more towards sewing and cooking. That needs to change.”
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