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Learner Profile: Frankie

Currently working on her HND after becoming fully qualified Frankie, living in Skipton, knew from aged 13 that she wanted to get into Engineering.

Her high school – South Craven in Keighley – celebrated Girls into Engineering day and her mind was made up. Frankie participated in Training 2000s Saturday morning club in Year 10 and this solidified that she was sure this was the direction that she wanted to take her career. This programme also helped Frankie get her apprenticeship placement at 3M in Clitheroe.

Frankie said about the Saturday morning club, “I would seriously recommend the club to anyone interested in Engineering and also those who are not too sure. There is not enough time spent on Engineering in high school to really get to grips with whether you like it or not. This course lets you actually try the different sections within Engineering. I also know that it is what employers are looking for as everyone I knew on my course secured jobs and placements through completing it.”

Straight from completing her GCSEs, Frankie began as an Advanced Tool Making apprentice here at Training 2000 and with her company 3M. Her decision to complete an apprenticeship was down to her brother completing his at our Nelson site in previous years. She came to an open day and decided that this was her path. The idea of earning money and becoming a more independent person was also an element that enticed her towards an apprenticeship.

One thing that Frankie did notice walking into a male dominated environment was that the older employees were not used to working with women. Some people made it clear that they didn’t like it and so the Head of Supervisors who is also a female, dismissed any issues, and the working atmosphere became a happier place.

Frankie was proud to say that she received the same opportunities as all other employers however, outdated opinions did lead to her being challenged for being a woman in the Engineering world. She said that “females in general are fiery and will get what they want”.

When asked what she had learned that wasn’t skill related, Frankie said that she had become a better person due to her confidence growing throughout the programme.

Looking towards the future, Frankie wants to move above and beyond a Tool Maker and has two possible paths in mind. Health and safety representative is a role she is set on due to her been on the health and safety team at work shows the other job role will be going into management.

When asked if she had any advice for young girls wanting to get into Engineering, she said “you need to be aware of males giving you stick, they will give you a hard time because they are not used to seeing you in this environment. As long as you are not afraid to get your hands dirty, you will be fine. You will develop a thick skin and learn to give it back to them, they will respect you.”

Frankie did acknowledge that it isn’t fair but it won’t change if you don’t challenge it. She was quiet and reserved when she started her Apprenticeship and this has taught her to stand up for herself and helped her grow as a person. “The Engineering mentality comes with time, you don’t need to have it when you start. This process has made me the strong woman I am today.”