To show our support for International Women in Engineering Day, we’re celebrating the amazing stories and work of our Engineering apprentices and students.
We spoke to Beth, Holly and Ellie about why they chose a career in engineering and their thoughts on working in a traditionally male-dominated industry.
Beth: I wanted a career that allowed me to use my hands more as at school I was a more hands on learning type of pupil. Engineering was something that really interested me and even though through researching it as a career it didn’t deter me that it was a male dominated industry, I just knew that I could do it.
Also, when researching Engineering and Manufacturing, I found the life- long career opportunities would really give me the chance to progress up the ladder and the continuous development plan ticked all the boxes for me.
Holly: After leaving school I had already decided that an apprenticeship was the career path that I wanted to follow, I have always been interested in Science and Engineering so when Sunderland College advertised the apprenticeship at ZF I applied and was successful in becoming the first female on the Engineering Apprenticeship program at Sunderland College. Studying full time at college for the first year helped me develop my skills and confidence ready for entering the workplace.
Ellie: When I left school, I always wanted to gain myself a ‘hands on job’ and I discovered that the apprenticeship route would be the best option for me. I began my apprenticeship journey when I left school as an apprentice welder where I completed a Level 2 Welding and Fabrication course. I was then offered a Quality apprenticeship within Liebherr Sunderland where I began to study Advanced Manufacturing.
Beth: I’m studying an Engineering Apprenticeship at Sunderland College while working at ZF in Peterlee. I love working for ZF, the best part is the people are great. They’re friendly, helpful and really supportive with helps immensely with my apprenticeship. When I attend the college, my apprenticeship is more hands on, so I get to carry out more physical tasks, get my hands dirty as we work on several electrical and mechanical projects. This enables me to understand more of what to look for within my quality role with ZF.
Holly: I’m in the third year of my Apprenticeship with ZF and studying Engineering at Sunderland College. The apprenticeship has allowed me to achieve A- Level equivalent qualifications whilst gaining hands on experience, opening the door to professional qualifications in industry, developing my confidence as a young engineer and giving me the opportunity to follow my chosen career.
Ellie: I’m studying Engineering at Sunderland College and work for a company called Liebherr who manufacture cranes and many other components that are used around the world as an Apprentice Quality Engineer. The apprenticeship has given me valuable hands-on experience and knowledge which I could apply to my everyday job and allowed me to develop my confidence as a young engineer.
Beth: I’d advise any young woman wanting to begin a career in Engineering to go for it, it’s a brilliant pathway to a secure and long- lasting career and the sector would benefit from having a lot more females too.
Holly: Despite the engineering industry being a male dominated sector during my apprenticeship ZF have encouraged me to push myself and pursue my goals regardless of my gender. Challenging these stereotypes means that we can get the right people for the right job regardless of gender in the workplace.
Ellie: Despite the engineering industry being a male dominated, it is important that women develop within the engineering sector to promote equality and diversity.
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Our achievement rates are well above the national average.
We are the College of the Year.
(*Top college nationally for BTECs, Pearson 2019)
100% of our HND and HNC students progressed to employment or further study.
(*Destination data, academic year 2016/17, HNC 19+)
We have recently invested £50 million in our facilities.