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Apprentice speaks at Professor Brian Cox's summer school

Earlier this week, rail apprentice Lois Medley (17) spoke at a science summer school event with Professor Brian Cox. Here, she tells her story and calls for more students to follow her path into engineering.

 

Speaking at this event in front of 250 people was a very scary prospect, especially as I’m not one for speaking out in front of even the smallest of groups. However, with the support of my colleagues and family, I managed to stand up and tell this varied audience about the benefits of becoming an apprentice in engineering, and why we need more women in engineering. I also had the chance to say how much I enjoy talking about my apprenticeship and all the amazing opportunities I’ve had since I started my apprenticeship at WSP.

Not only did this experience help me to develop my presentation skills, but I was also able to inspire students to follow the same career path as me and to take every opportunity they get. It was nice to meet people from the audience afterwards and see how interested they were. I realised after my talk that I’d missed a few things out that I wanted to say, and I was pleased that the questions they asked helped me to cover these bits.

When I was leaving school I didn’t even know what engineering was - it was only when a family friend told me about her job that I looked into it. I believe that school leavers need more career route options, and that we need to wipe away the gender stereotype that comes with engineering.

I feel that speaking at this event helped me gain more confidence. A year ago, I would have never been able to stand up and speak in front of so many people. I’m pleased I had the opportunity to share my experience of being an apprentice.

Engineering is not a job just for men; it is a job for anyone who has the passion and desire to do it.

Lois Medley, Rail Apprentice at WSP