The Future of Energy
At Score Energy we strive to increase the number of female apprentices we take on yearly, not because it makes up any “numbers quota” but because we find they make great apprentices. It’s often found that girls are more prepared for their new role and excel in their engineering apprenticeship, yet over the last decade in the UK, no more than 5% of young people starting an apprenticeship in engineering have been female in any one year.
We caught up with three of our female Engineering Technician apprentices to find out what they have achieved so far, how they see their future in Score Energy, and how they feel about being a minority in the engineering industry…
22 year old Christine, from Fraserburgh, is currently in the final year of her apprenticeship, qualifying in January 2019: “I was brought up on a farm, and loved helping my dad fix and maintain machinery, so I’ve always had an interest in engineering.
While in school, I saw university as my only option, until my guidance teacher suggested the best route for me was an apprenticeship. I 100% agreed, as I can still go on to university, as well as getting my modern apprenticeship.
I love that when doing the apprenticeship with Energy they’re very good at listening to what your interests are and which departments you prefer. When it comes to your ultimate decision of where you would like to be based, they’re very supportive.
I’m very proud of getting an A in my HNC exam. I’m also proud that I made an impact while being in the drawing office, so I was welcomed back there fulltime. It was somewhere that I always saw myself going.
I don’t see being a minority in the industry as an issue, in this day and age I think there’s less stigma of being a female, and you get treated the same as the guys. I do feel like we have to prove ourselves that bit more though, but then it’s just motivation to do better. I think that’s why the majority of girls I know within engineering have all received A’s in their exams.
I’ve always wanted to go to university; a year or two ago, I had spoken to the Score training team about continuing my studies to HND, which will lead to university. They encouraged me and advised that they will support me should I continue. I’d like to get as high a qualification as I can, and just continue doing what I’m doing.
I’m not sure what my overall career goal is, however I want to keep moving up the ranks, but I want to get there because I earned it, and not just because I’m a girl. I would like to expand into the engineering side of the drawing office, and I have been getting more involved in that which has motivated me to continue my studies. I’d like to be a team leader or management, I don’t want to settle, I just want to keep going and at Score Energy there are definitely the opportunities to grow and achieve promotion.”
Advice for female Engineering Technician Apprentices – “You might be intimidated now, but go in and prove yourself; just stick in, work hard, and prove yourself. We’re just as equal.”
23 year old Emma, also from Fraserburgh, is in the 5th year of her apprenticeship, currently working in the Turbines department: “I started at Score as an admin apprentice and during a year in the production office, I was getting a glimpse into the engineering side of the company which I found really interesting. I then spoke to the Score Apprentice Coordinators and reapplied for an engineering apprenticeship.
In honesty I didn’t want to carry on with education after school. Funnily enough, doing an apprenticeship you have to attend college, and I’ve actually enjoyed it more than I thought. And now I’m hoping to go on to do a degree as well.
Ever since I started at Score, I knew I would want to push myself and get the best qualifications I can. College was really challenging, especially because I had never done anything at school to prepare for engineering. The subject was totally new to me. But I enjoyed it, so I don’t really see myself stopping anytime soon.
I like that during the apprenticeship you get an understanding of the whole company operation by doing 6 month rotations, you know how different departments work, and how the whole business works. You also get an appreciation of other people’s jobs. The day release at college is also great; it definitely gave me more confidence in the workshop.
Getting an A in my exam, and then being accepted to do my HND, which I started in August, have been my proudest moments. I’ve also always had really good appraisals from departments I’ve worked in. It’s nice knowing that departments are happy to have me back.
Being a female in the workshop, especially having moved into the workshop from admin, I felt I had to prove myself. I think it makes some girls better apprentices, and better workers. You’re one of the lads in the workshop. It depends how you conduct yourself, if you speak to them like your friends, you’re not treated any different. It’s the same as any workplace, if you were in an office with guys, you’d probably get the same banter. I don’t see it as being any different to any other job.
While I’m young I’d like to be in a position that I’m always working with my hands, in the workshop. In the future I’d like to be in the situation that if I was needed offshore, I could go, and I’d be very comfortable to do so. I would really like to be doing a job that I know well, and I’m respected for too.”
Advice for female Engineering Technician Apprentices – “Don’t be scared to give engineering a go. It’s like going into any job after finishing school. You’re going to be nervous and wary about what’s going to happen. But it shouldn’t be any different than going into any other job.”
21 year old Morgen, from Ellon, is in the 5th year of her apprenticeship based in the Aeroderivative Accessories department: “I became interested in engineering because my dad used to work in a similar industry, so I’ve always been interested since a young age.
When I finished school I didn’t want to carry on with education. My grades at school weren’t great, so going through university would have been an incredibly long process. An apprenticeship was definitely the right choice for me. In my interview I was asked if I’d want to work with valves or turbines, and I always thought the turbines seemed a lot more interesting, and a lot more challenging.
I found college difficult, but despite this, I worked hard in my HNC and I was delighted to get an A in my exam, that’s something I’ll always be proud of.
I love working in Aero Accessories, because whilst it’s very busy, there are only a couple of different products in the department I work in, and this gives you the opportunity to learn those specific products really well. I would rather be really knowledgeable in 2 or 3 products, than have an OK knowledge of 20.
Being a female apprentice, I don’t think it’s any different to being male. We just get treated the same, and I like it that way.
Although I enjoyed my time at college, I don’t plan on continuing my studies after my HNC. Because you don’t have to have a HND or a degree to progress in Score, I plan on working hard and concentrating on my workshop skills and knowledge. Moving up the ranks within my current department is my goal.
However, I couldn’t see myself becoming a team leader, as a lot of their work is office based. I’d rather be in the workshop than working in an office, doing that just doesn’t appeal to me at the moment. I really enjoy my current role and would recommend it to any girl as a future career.”
Advice for female Engineering Technician Apprentices – “If it’s what you want to do, do it. I love my job, and it was the best decision I could have made, so go for it.”