Female engineering apprentice, 17, blazing a trail at Birmingham adi Group. 

Stereotypes are there to be broken. Just ask 17-year-old Abbie Beaver. As the first ever female trade apprentice at Birmingham-based engineering firm, adi Group, and specialising in the traditionally male-dominated world of welding and fabrication, Abbie’s forging ahead with a career less ordinary.

And to mark National Apprenticeship Week, running from 4 – 8 March, Abbie, along with her fellow adi Group apprentices, Raja Dubb, 17, and Joshua Brown, 16, lifted the lid on why the multi-disciplinary firm’s apprentice scheme works for them.

“It beats school by miles,” said Abbie. “You get the same qualifications but you’re earning while you’re learning and you meet new people, who teach you new things across a broader spectrum.

“We’re here four days a week and spend one day at college, where we do welding and fabrication assignments. But here we learn our own jobs and have our own tasks to complete. We’re learning skills we wouldn’t learn at college, like how to read drawings and how to communicate.”

Raja sees similar advantages to an apprenticeship over formal education.

“It’s an opportunity to give myself more experience than people who go to university. In the time they’ve been doing theory work, I’ve gained hands-on experience. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and I feel like I’m achieving something.”

Joshua Brown, who has chosen to pursue a specialist control panel wiring apprenticeship, has noticed some of his friends are envious.

“Quite a few now think they’d rather have gone into an apprenticeship than do A-levels. They’d rather be more hands-on than behind a desk. It’s laid-back, I don’t feel pressured and my mentors are very approachable. I’m never scared to ask a question.”

Both Abbie and Joshua first became interested in engineering at the age of 14, when they signed up for adi Group’s pioneering unique pre-apprenticeship scheme, an initiative born of the firm’s determination to inspire the next generation of young engineers at the earliest possible age.

The programme, run in partnership with North Bromsgrove High School since 2016, gives a select group of 12 GCSE students the chance to get valuable experience of engineering in the real-life work environment for one afternoon a week over two years at adi’s Kings Norton HQ.

And, while some might be surprised to hear Abbie was so inspired that she went full steam ahead with a full-time apprenticeship, her friends are all ears. 

“My mates find it interesting. Most women don’t go into engineering, so showing that we can do it has impressed them. I’d tell other women to give it a shot. Go to a taster day and, if you enjoy it, then take it up and get into the workshop, even if it’s male-dominated. You can be better than all the men.”

Gareth Thorns, workshop manager, adi Mechanical, is one of the group’s apprentice mentors and is upbeat about their progress.

They’re doing really well and they’re coming on leaps and bounds,” he said.

“Apprenticeships help young people by giving them drive, direction and the skills they need to base the rest of their career on. It’s a good thing to start at the bottom and learn your way up.”

You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Video Advert

Newsroom Activity

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page