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Women are selecting the best apprenticeship programmes

 February 08, 2017

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The UK’s National Apprenticeship Week celebrates the positive impact that apprenticeships and traineeships have on individuals, businesses and the economy. The week encourages even more people to choose apprenticeships as a ladder to a great career and encouraging women into apprenticeships is key.

The number of apprenticeships has increased significantly over the past decade. For example, in 2015/16 there were 509,400 apprenticeship starts in England which was 9,500 more than the previous year.

Many companies have excellent apprenticeships programmes like GKN, AECOM, Arup, Thales and Schneider Electric. Women are choosing these companies to access innovative and supportive apprenticeships schemes leading to a thriving career while developing new knowledge, skills and building key relationships and networks. A number of companies are leading the way when it comes to impressive apprenticeship programmes and actively supporting their apprentices.

AECOM actively reaching young people

Kate Morris, Director, Strategic Planning & Advisory, Transportation, AECOM, says “As an industry, we must apply our problem-solving skills to tackle the lack of awareness and interest in engineering among emerging female talent. Disentangling the reality of today’s apprenticeships from outdated perceptions of blue collar manual labour will be part of the solution, along with efforts targeted at those who are harder to reach. It is vital that we showcase our profession to the young people the industry needs, rather than sitting back and waiting for them to find us.”

Great support from GKN

A Production Apprentice from GKN Sinter Metals enjoyed the support that employer GKN provided. “During my apprenticeship at GKN Sinter Metals I have had various practical experiences and have been part of different projects. I feel that GKN really takes care of me and through the variety of experiences, my apprenticeship is very interesting. To others I would recommend to put much effort into the application, it will be worth it."

From apprenticeship to degree at University of Sheffield

Rebecca Taylor was a student at Thomas Rotherham College when she applied to become an engineering apprentice at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) at the University of Sheffield. “Half the time we are programming, and then we run our work downstairs. I enjoy it here, it’s varied and you can carry on to get a degree if you want, but your eggs aren’t all in one basket; you can go down a number of routes,” explains Rebecca. Rebecca’s advice for career aspiring girls is to look beyond the muck and oil if they are interested in a career in engineering. “Girls at school go to engineering firms and just see the dirt, but they don’t go to advanced manufacturing centres like this. The way to get girls into engineering is to have more facilities like this,” she says.

Schneider Electric building future leaders

Schneider Electric, a leading global energy management company, has a brilliant Apprentice programme that educates and equips the best and the brightest young talent to become energy-efficiency experts and leaders of the future. Work at this company is truly innovative and impressive. Their purpose is to ensure energy is brought to those who don’t have it. They’re working to ensure future generations can live in a climate that supports and enables them. They’re creating sustainable, renewable, green places to live and work and support people around the world to use energy to develop themselves.

Freedom and independence at Arup

Jamie-Lee Francis is an Apprentice Technician in Bridges and Civil Structures at Arup’s Midlands Office wasn’t sure about going straight into university. “Once I had finished my first year of A-Levels, I realised the route I was taking was not for me. I think a lot of young people these days feel pressured to go straight to University and do not consider the alternative routes to a successful career. I chose an apprenticeship as it allows me to gain extra qualifications and practical experience in the industry before I start my Degree. I enjoy the element of freedom and independence I get as a result of being involved with a company like Arup. Every day is different,” suggests Jamie-Lee.

Grateful to Thales and ready to give back

Another woman, Nadia Johnson, a Software Engineer Apprentice at Thales is grateful for her development and is keen to give back when it comes to nurturing future talent. “When I started my apprenticeship, I was at a low technical level and I appreciated the support of my colleagues, manager and head of department. I want to get to that level where I can do the same for other people, take them under my wing and push them forward. That’s my ultimate goal,” says Nadia.

Find out how you can support National Apprenticeship Week.

Discover what exciting apprenticeships are available at leading companies

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