A visit by MP Kate Green rounded off celebrations to mark National Apprenticeship Week in the Year of Engineering.
The MP for Stretford and Urmston visited Trafford College’s Centre for Science and Technology on 9 March to meet with mechanical engineering students, see their training in action, and hear about their experiences of the programme.
The College works alongside some of the region’s most significant employers to deliver apprenticeship training and Ms Green spoke with apprentices from Siemens, Kelloggs, Lyondell Basell, University of Salford and the University of Manchester.
She also met with some of the inspiring young female engineering apprentices determined to prove that the industry should not be perceived as one solely for men, and in recognition of the Year of Engineering 2018, took the opportunity to discuss the 12-month government-led campaign which will tackle the engineering skills gap, and widen the pool of young people who join the profession.
University of Manchester apprentice Nafeesah Hussain, 20, and Siemens apprentice Rebecca Moses, 22, spoke with Ms Green and gave their view points on careers in engineering and why they chose an apprenticeship.
Rebecca, who studied Level 3 electrical/electronic engineering with the college before starting her apprenticeship in energy management with the global industrial manufacturing giant, said, “Engineering is often seen as a male occupation, but I’m treated exactly the same as everyone else. I’m supported every step of the way, and encouraged to push myself further with new opportunities to learn. I chose the apprenticeship route as I prefer hands-on learning.”
Sean McDaid, 20, a mechanical engineering apprentice with Kelloggs, said, “I wanted to get straight into work after finishing school, but an apprenticeship also enables me to get a recognised qualification while earning a wage. It was the ideal route for me.
“I’m really enjoying it, I’ve learnt so much in just a few months since starting in September and I’m much more confident.”
Speaking following her visit, Ms Green said: “What has really struck me is the commitment and enthusiasm of these apprentices and how they all have their career goals, and a plan for what they will do next.”
She added: “I have a real admiration for Trafford College, its excellent career opportunities, the work ethos of the apprentices, and the very passionate staff that are helping the students to realise their full potential.”