Two apprentices at the Coventry-based Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre have been appointed onto the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) Apprentice Board.
First year apprentice, Camila Rey da Rosa, and third-year Melissa Chigubu, have been selected to represent the voices of female engineering apprentices on the WES Apprentice Board.
Camila initially worked as an Occupational Health and Safety Nurse in Brazil, before moving to the UK 10 years ago and discovering her passion for engineering. Camila, aged 36, found apprenticeships would allow her to get the qualifications and experience required to start a career in engineering, and is now a Level 3 Mechatronic Engineering Technician Apprentice with Amazon.
Melissa Chigubu, who was named as one of the top 50 women in engineering in the UK in 2019, has also been appointed to the WES Apprentice Board. Melissa, aged 19, moved to the UK from Zimbabwe eight years ago and was the first female to complete the Foundation Gateway in the Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre's new Apprenticeship Engineering Standard programme.
Recognising that the number of women engineering professionals in the UK is low, Camila and Melissa are enthusiastic advocates of women in engineering. They are keen to promote the work of WES and the support and advice that the network provides, to help make engineering a more balanced, diverse and inclusive industry.
Both apprentices have supported diversity, inclusion and STEM outreach activities whilst on their apprenticeships, encouraging people from all backgrounds to consider pursuing a career in engineering through an apprenticeship.
“I want to inspire women to investigate the opportunities that engineering could offer to them. I discovered my passion for engineering later in life than most. Being part of the WES Apprentice Board will allow me to spread the message that it is never too late to start a fulfilling career in engineering or to begin an apprenticeship, and to help change the perception of the industry,” Camila said.
Melissa commented, “I am so excited to have been selected as one of the WES Apprentice Board Members. I am really looking forward to working with the team to further promote women in engineering. I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity.”
David Hughes MBE, Managing Director of the AMTC, said, “I was absolutely delighted to hear that both Camila and Melissa have been appointed to the WES Apprentice Board. Camila has done exceptionally well during her first year as an engineering apprentice and Melissa is a hugely talented and dedicated apprentice, demonstrating exceptional skills for her early career stage.”
David added, “At the MTC, we are fully committed to promoting diversity and inclusion across our business and throughout the industry. Camila and Mellissa are excellent role models and will be passionate and dedicated voices for the promotion of women in engineering.”
WES recognises that apprenticeships are an important route into engineering for many women and has set up the WES Apprentice Board, consisting of 12 current engineering apprentices. The aim of the Apprentice Board is to make WES more accessible to apprentices, to reflect their concerns and to provide input into WES Trustees and staff, allowing the voices of women apprentices within engineering to be heard. The Apprentice Board will also act as role models for young women considering a career within engineering and applied sciences.
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