Jobs and Careers Autumn 2017 - 70
Marissa Francis, 25
from her mechanical
ABM UK (abm.co.uk), alongside
completing a BTEC Level 4 HNC
diploma in construction and
the built environment at the
College of North West London
"I was introduced to engineering at
school by a teacher and decided to
take it at GCSE, eventually getting a B.
I continued my studies at Croydon
College and completed a BTEC
National Diploma Level 3 in
"I was unsure which sector of
engineering I wanted to specialise
in, but thought an apprenticeship
sounded a good route. At college, I
was advised to apply for university
and look for an apprenticeship, and
accept whichever offer came through
first. This was a place at university.
"I enrolled on an electronics
degree course, but after my first year
decided to pursue an apprenticeship.
I wanted the hands-on skills that are
particularly important in engineering.
"I heard about Women In
Engineering (wie.ieee.org), which
helps young women find out about
and apply for apprenticeships. The
team helped me to create and develop
my CV and took me to careers events
attended by engineering companies.
"Women in Engineering introduced
me to ABM UK and its apprenticeship
programme. I'm now employed
there as a mechanical engineer,
specialising as a heating, ventilation
and air conditioning (HVAC) improver.
"My advice to anyone doing an
apprenticeship is get your head down,
work hard, accept it will be tough at
times and keep your eyes on the prize.
Never forget your passion or what made
you want to do it in the first place."
job market where experience is
everything and given the spiralling
cost of a university education.
There's nothing to pay when you
undertake an apprenticeship - your
training costs are funded by the
government and your employer.
HOW TO GET STARTED
There are four levels of apprenticeship
in England (see box, top right) and
each apprenticeship vacancy will
specify its entry requirements. For
which level of
you start at
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