GTA England – Girls Allowed

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Name

Company

Job Role

Contact Details

Area

Helen Riddle

Gen2

Technical Delivery Tutor

[email protected]            

Cumbria

Yasmin Damree-Ralph

JTL Training

E&D Officer

[email protected]

Kent

 

Case Studies

Coral Aspinall – Pen Portrait

My working career started in 1989, when I joined Renold Gears as an engineering YTS trainee. After 2 years I was taken on as a technical apprentice,  and gained experience in a number of different departments including, Research and Development, Design Office and Technical Sales. I then moved into the quality department specialising in gear metrology. During this time I gained an ONC and HNC in Mechanical Engineering.

In 1994 I decided to further my career and left Renold Gears to go to university studying Engineering and Business Management. In the third year I opted to do a year out in industry working as a Manufacturing Development Engineer at Seton Healthcare.

After graduating with a 2:1 I spent a year working as a Production Engineer in a Plastic Injection Moulding company, and then joined Marshalls Plc as a Management Trainee. After working throughout different departments in the business I was promoted to Regional Project Manager, with responsibility for managing a number of capital investment engineering projects.

I left Marshalls in 2005 and joined the family structural steel business, as a company director with responsibility for managing larger projects and the strategic management of the company. During this time I went back to University on a part time basis and completed my MBA. My dissertation focused on the learning development of small business owners, which was submitted and published by the Journal of Small Business and Enterprise in 2011.

Throughout my career I have always wanted to go into teaching, in 2013 I gained my PGDE teaching qualification and joined Rochdale Training in September 2013 as an engineering tutor. It feels like I have come full circle in my career, even spending some time as an instructor back in the training school at Renold Gears.

Although for the most of my career I have been in an engineering job role, my engineering experience and knowledge has always been the cornerstone of my career.

Helen Riddle

From a young age I used to help my Dad with wiring jobs as he was an electrician and I really enjoyed it. Engineering became something I was interested in as a potential career but in the 1980’s the only study choice at school was Design and Technology. I took the Design and Technology O-Level course and was one of the first girls at secondary school to take the subject. I really enjoyed the course. I hand-made silver jewellery as my exam piece which involved forming and soldering by hand and using the machines to polish the metal and finish the piece, I achieved a Grade A (the highest possible grade).

The piece was used as part of a school display for employers. An engineer from Albright and Wilson attended the event and was really impressed with my exam piece and advised me to apply for an apprenticeship. I applied and was delighted to be accepted on a 4 year apprenticeship programme. I chose instrumentation.

For the first 12 months of my apprenticeship I did basic skills in bench fitting, machining, welding, electronics etc. I was only the second female apprentice Albright and Wilson had taken so I worked with around 300 craftsmen on site.

After my basic training I spent a further 3 years on the Albright and Wilson site learning the instrumentation and plant maintenance trade, whilst studying for my BTEC National and HNC in instrumentation and control.

After completing my apprenticeship I worked for a year as a maintenance craftsperson and completed my HNC qualification. I was then sponsored by Albright and Wilson and given 3 years unpaid leave to undertake a degree in instrumentation and control. I achieved a 2:1 BEng(Hons) Degree.

After completing my degree I transferred to the Albright and Wilson site in Birmingham to work as a control engineer, which I did for 4 years. I relocated back to West Cumbria and worked for Eastman Chemicals and then Indorama for 12 years as a project engineer before progressing to an EIC engineer. As an EIC engineer I was involved in installing new equipment, fault finding, supporting plant breakdowns and was on 24 hour call, 7 days a week for technical support. Following my experience in process/manufacturing industry I joined Gen2 as an E&I instructor as I wanted to pass on my knowledge and experience to others. I am now in the Technical Delivery Team and have just completed my foundation degree in teaching.

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