Females in Engineering
When we think of Engineering Apprentices we normally think of a male workforce, however, Springvale Employment and Learning Solutions have seen a steady increase of females within Construction and Engineering vocations and are keen to highlight the exciting opportunities and success of young females within industry, in particular, one of our young apprentices Sinead Boyle.
Sinead, you came to us in 2011 to begin your training as an Engineer, was this the career path you always wanted to follow?
I wanted to do something different and I didn't want to do beauty or be stuck behind a desk all day. I always looked up to my daddy so I thought about doing something not every other girl would do.
I originally wanted to be a plumber when I was at school then I realised I wouldn't do well with toilets and engineering was a much cleaner option!!!
Technology was one of the only subject’s I was interested in at school and loved being able to make things and enjoyed the problem-solving element of the subject. Because I loved Technology so much, I started to think more seriously about being an engineer. I found out that it’s very interesting and there are so many different things to do.
How did you hear about Springvale?
I knew a few boys that had signed up to do plumbing, they told me about Springvale so I looked further into the Engineering courses offered.
Woman’s Engineering Society states that the UK has the lowest percentage of female engineers, with only 9% of the engineering workforce being female. How did you feel when you first walked into a male dominated classroom?
On the first day, everything was very over whelming, as I was in class that was made up only of boys and I was just getting used to not being in school so it was very different. As the days went on, I began to feel more and more comfortable and soon being labelled as the ‘only girl’ in the class meant nothing as I was just the same as everyone else, learning all the same things.
You were a full-time student for two years before you gained employment as an apprentice, tell us a bit more about what you learnt and gained in those two years?
I loved coming into Springvale every day and was so lucky to have secured some interesting placements during my time. I worked with Belfast Health and Social Care Trust and managed to get a placement with Gilbert Ash working on the new Rugby stadium on the Ravenhill Road. I won the Engineering Student of the Year in 2012 and was Highly Commended at the NI Essential Skills Awards in 2012 which was held in Hillsborough Castle.
How did you get your Apprenticeship with SIA?
I’m now in my second year of study with SIA and I am enjoying working for them. I stayed in touch with Springvale when I completed my Level 2. Springvale sent my cv across to SIA and they arranged to interview me. After a successful interview, I started working for them and now come to Springvale every Tuesday to complete my Level 3 course.
Would you recommend Springvale? How have they helped you since you left school?
I would definitely recommend Springvale, they have went over and above my expectations of a training centre to help me progress my career to the next level.
November 11th, 2016