YOUNG women have been encouraged to consider a career in engineering by four female apprentices from an engineering training centre.

International Women in Engineering Day, an annual celebration of the achievements of outstanding women engineers, was held recently and aimed to raise awareness of the huge range of opportunities for young women in the sector.

Four apprentices from South West Durham Training (SWDT) in Newton Aycliffe helped to promote the day.

Danika Gilpin, 17, and Kerrie Brown, 26, both from Darlington, are advanced apprentices in engineering maintenance at Cummins Engineering. Chloe Reeves, 17, from Sunderland, is a fabrication and welding advanced apprentice with Mech-Tool Engineering in Darlington.

Chloe Little, 19, from Billingham, completed A levels in Maths, Biology, Chemistry and Physics last year before securing her maintenance and operations apprenticeship with GlaxoSmithKline plc in Barnard Castle.

A year into her four year apprenticeship, she will attain a Level 3 BTEC and an HNC, then plans to take a degree. She spends term time at SWDT and out of term time enjoys work experience at GSK, ranging from PLC programming to welding.

She said: “The apprenticeship is going really well. When I complete it I will be considered a multi-skilled technician; this ranges across electrical, mechanical and instrument aspects. I would like to specialise in a trade eventually and possibly move into leadership roles.”

Chloe urged other young women thinking about engineering to follow her lead. She said: “I think anybody that is interested in engineering should research the different possibilities as there are so many different fields and routes you can take to get into engineering.”

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