SCOTTISH Apprenticeship Week, which takes place from 29 February to 4 March, will celebrate the benefits Modern Apprenticeships bring to businesses, and demonstrate that women are being welcomed into the engineering sector.
At Aberdeen-based ITCA Training, Louise Brown, 18, from Hatton, Peterhead, and Charmaine Burgess, 16, from Carnoustie, near Dundee, are proving that equality and diversity are not an issue in the engineering sector by working on a Modern Apprenticeship course in mechanical engineering.
The young women, who are carrying out their apprenticeships whilst working for Aberdeenshire-based turbine service provider, Alba Power, were inspired to follow a career in engineering by their fathers.
Former Ellon Academy pupil, Louise, said: “I originally wanted to join the police, but after seeing how much my dad and granddad enjoyed working in the oil and gas industry my passion for the sector grew, as did my ambition to be like them.”
Charmaine added: “I’ve definitely developed my love for the industry after seeing how much my dad enjoys his job. I’ve always been a tomboy and all of my friends knew I would end up going into a male dominated job. I am really enjoying the time I can spend developing and learning new skills whilst I work.”
Some females might feel intimidated about starting a career in engineering, but Charmaine said she was keen to encourage other young women to follow in her footsteps and utilise their abilities and knowledge in a career that is right for them.
She said: “I really enjoy my work and the training I am getting. Everyone is treated equally both in my workplace, and in the workshop at ITCA, and I appreciate my modern apprenticeship as I get real hands-on experience.”
Although the girls are only in their first year of their Modern Apprenticeship, they both have high objectives for their future in the industry.
Charmaine continued: “My aspiration would be to work my way up the career ladder and become a fully qualified engineer. I would love to travel the world and show other women that anything is possible when you put your mind to it.
Louise added: “I’m very determined to get as high as I can in the industry. I’m not sure if the offshore side of the business is right for me at the moment, but I would love to work abroad at some point in my career.”
June Jones, managing director of ITCA, said: “It is extremely refreshing to see two enthusiastic young women working hard to get their break into an engineering environment, and both girls arealready excelling with their practical skills.
“Louise and Charmaine fit in well to the training environment at ITCA and work closely with all our learners to achieve the best results. They all learn a great deal from each other as well as from the experienced staff at ITCA and it is great to see how enthusiastic they all are.”
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