Hartlepool woman lives engineering dream

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A WOMAN with a passion for engineering is achieving her apprenticeship dream - and that’s all thanks to a Hartlepool college.

International Women’s Day and National Apprenticeship Week are being supported by bosses at Hartlepool College of Further Education.

“You get to learn by doing and not just being shown how in pictures”

College bosses say they want to recognise the drive, skill and dedication of young people as they enter the workforce.

And they especially want to support females who challenge conventional stereotyping by going into jobs which were traditionally thought to be male-orientated.

Emma McCoy, 18, who lives in Peterlee is one example of someone with a bright future. Emma is a student at the college and has a passion for engineering.

She is also proving her worth at her employers, crisp factory Walkers.

It was while she was still at St Bede’s School in Peterlee, that Emma quickly found she far preferred the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects to those more traditionally associated with females.

She said: “I entered lots of competitions and did really well, and I enjoyed the hands on approach engineering offered, which led me to follow a mechanical engineering path.”

Emma quickly found a placement at Walkers, close to where she lived, and was given the role of multi-skilled engineer. She is now specialising in electrical and maintenance.

Walkers selected Hartlepool College of Further Education, in Stockton Street, to give Emma the qualifications and abilities she needed to succeed, and for her to be able perform her role to the levels required.

Emma praised the college for its excellent support. She said: “The college’s facilities are superb, and you get to learn by doing and not just being shown how in pictures, like in some other places.

“Plus, the lecturers will go to any lengths to help you with work and make sure you’re doing your best. They’re brilliant.”

The location of the college was also a big selling point for Emma, who travels by car from Peterlee every day.

As far as future plans go, Emma is thinking big.

She has ambitions to take up team leadership and maybe even go into management roles.