A HARTLEPOOL teenager is celebrating after securing an apprenticeship and a place in a prestigious competition for young engineers in the same week.
Ellie Dunnington, 18, will start work with Tees Valley company Wilton Engineering Services later this month.
Two days after she found out, she was chosen to compete in the regional heats of the WorldSkills UK Engineering Construction Metalwork competition at Hartlepool Further College of Education.
Ellie is already a winner, having gained a four year apprenticeship. It was just reward for the teenager who had studied welding and fabrication.
She said: “I feel so lucky to secure an apprenticeship with Wilton Engineering Services. It depends what route I go down but I could be a welder or plater - we’re yet to find out. I would rather do the welding, however I enjoy plating. You get put with a mentor who trains me, advises me and I will help them in their job while learning skills.”
It has been something of a whirlwind for Ellie, who was born in York but lived in Hartlepool since the age of seven.
She was nominated to compete in the Construction Metalwork category of the WorldSkills UK - one of 13 engineering competitions run by Semta, which is responsible for engineering skills for the future.
Ellie will find out in July whether she has won through to the national final at the Skills Show in Birmingham. A medal there could see her selected for the UK squad for the World Skills finals in Abu Dhabi in 2017.
Joanne Iceton, Head of Communications and Public Affairs at Semta, said: “Ellie has done well to get this far and it would be great to see her in the national final and the international squad - but most importantly she has secured an apprenticeship and a career and is a role model for other girls to follow.”
Ellie added: “My mam is really proud of me and thinks it’s great that I am doing engineering.”
She urged other girls to follow her example.