31 August 2017

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Steph Harris Text2A 21-year old aeronautical apprentice from Anglesey is encouraging other school leavers to follow in her footsteps and consider an apprenticeship as a route into their dream career.

Stephanie Harris, who left school at 16 after achieving high grades in all her GCSE subjects, particularly maths, science and music, and went on to pursue her passion for music by completing a BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Music at Coleg Menai. She achieved a triple grade distinction but decided she wanted to develop her natural talent for science and maths by investigating a career in engineering.

Stephanie was successful in applying for an apprenticeship with Babcock International Group and is now on the path to becoming a fully qualified mechanical engineer. She said: “I left school at 16 because I had enough of being in the classroom. I achieved good GCSE grades but I wanted to learn in a more practical, hands-on way.

“I didn’t know a great deal about apprenticeships or how to get onto one but I knew that they were available in the field of engineering. I enrolled onto a one year BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Mechanical Engineering at Coleg Menai as I thought it might provide me some of the basic, foundation skills, experience and knowledge I would need to get my foot on the career ladder.

“It was while doing this course I found out about the Aeronautical Apprenticeship with Babcock which motivated me to do well as I knew this was what I wanted to do. I was delighted and after a successful interview I was offered a place on the two-year programme. I’m now half way through my first year and I’m learning so much about aircraft and their component parts as well as how the wider industry operates.

“I feel like I have already acquired so many industry relevant skills that I will be able to hone and develop for my future career at Babcock. The fact that I’m also earning a wage is an added bonus. I want to become a fully qualified mechanical technician, and after that, who knows, I’m just really excited to be putting my interest in maths and science to good use and kick-starting my career in the aviation industry.

“I know that in the past engineering has been typically thought of as a male dominated career, but I have always been keen to pursue my passion and help lead the way for females in the sector.”

Bethan McCrohan at Babcock International Group said: “We are very proud of our apprenticeship programme and find it is the ideal channel to recruit people who have a natural talent and aptitude for engineering. It also provides us with the opportunity to provide our workforce with industry relevant background knowledge, experience and qualifications while equipping them with the skills they need to pursue a successful career at Babcock International Group.

“Stephanie is currently one of the top in her class and has a real natural understanding for the way machinery works and operates. She is on track to pass her apprenticeship with flying colours and hopefully gain permanent employment as a full-time aeronautical engineer.

Steph Harris Text1

Editor: Sqn Ldr Dave Williams

Images: Mike Gibson (Babcock) (Portrait pic), all other images by RAF Valley Media & Comms Flight

Crown Copyright images – may be used provided credit is assigned

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