Record intake of female apprentices expected

Record intake of female apprentices expected

Date: Monday 26 June 2017

News Record intake of female apprentices expected

The Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) is gearing up for highest ever intake of female apprentice engineers since launching its apprenticeship programme.

The news comes immediately on the back of International Women in Engineering Day (June 23), an initiative by the Women’s Engineering Society, which aims to raise awareness of and promote opportunities for women in engineering.

Increased awareness of the range of career opportunities for women in engineering has reaped dividends for the MTC’s Lloyds Bank Advanced Manufacturing Apprenticeship Programme, with applications from young women on the increase, while the number of potential engineers joining the course in September could more than double.

Of 42 apprentice places on offer this year, females applicants are expected to take up seven spaces of the new cohort; the highest number since the programme was launched in 2014.

Matthew Bastock, apprenticeship recruitment coordinator at the MTC, said: “We’re really pleased to see an increase in the number of female applicants on our apprenticeship programme and are looking forward to seeing more young women on the course from September.

“What we find when speaking to young people is that for many, they don’t have a clear understanding on what it means to study engineering and therefore the extensive possibilities that the industry offers - this is something that we’re working hard to address and we believe is having a positive impact on the number of female apprentices at the MTC.

“We’ve seen increased engagement at recruitment events, school and college visits and by working with our existing apprentices, who are fantastic advocates for studying at the MTC. There’s still a long way to go, but we’re definitely heading in the right direction.”

Tilly Brogden, a second year student, was studying vehicle mechanics at college before switching to the MTC’s apprenticeship programme.

She said: “Most people are quite shocked when I tell them what I study because it’s traditionally been such a male-dominated industry but I do think this is changing.

“If you’re interested in engineering then my advice would be to just go for it – don’t be put off by what other people think, it’s a fantastic industry with lots of opportunities for young people.”

Katie McKeown, also a second year apprentice at the MTC, has grown up in a family of engineers and developed an interest in cars from a young age, believes the stereotypical image of it being a ‘male-only’ industry has gone.

“I think times have changed and the industry is becoming more open-minded to female engineers, especially when you compare it to older generations,” said McKeown. 

“However, I think part of the problem is people’s perception of engineering; we don’t all wear grubby overalls and spend everyday in a workshop! There’s much more to it than that and I think if younger people were given a better insight into the industry, it would only help to encourage more female engineers.”

Apprentices are based at the MTC’s state-of-the-art Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre in Coventry. They undertake a three-year programme which offers learners broad-based training within three main themes; automation, CNC machining and metrology. Apprentices are also placed with one of the MTC’s Employer Partners in their third year to gain valuable industry experience with the aim of securing a full-time role post-study.

The programme, which is sponsored by Lloyds Bank and forms part of the MTC’s wider strategy to inspire Great British manufacturing and addressing the skills gap in the UK’s high value manufacturing sector.

To find out more about studying at the MTC or becoming one of the MTC’s Employer Partners, visit

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Riccardo Tosi
Research Engineer - Net Shape Manufacturing