Abi joined us as an apprentice in 2016, and is a toolmaker based in Samlesbury.
'I joined BAE Systems straight from school. I'd always been interested in learning about how things work and how they were put together, and I enjoyed STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths). I heard good things about working here from some family friends, and they were right! It’s a great company to work for, and I’ve made lots of good friends!
when I joined as an apprentice, I was really pleased with the support that was there for me straight way and has been ever since. I was able to try out all sorts of different areas of engineering and then decided to specialise in toolmaking. It was good to get a basic understanding of different parts of the company, it helps when you’re collaborating across teams to know a bit about what other people do and how they do it.
The support I’ve been given, and all the learning and development, has helped me become a skilled professional. I’ve grown in confidence and I’m now studying for a degree which the company is funding for me.
I like being in the workshop, we’re a close team and it’s not an issue that I’m a woman working in engineering. I don’t feel like a woman in a man’s world, it’s about my skills and knowledge rather than my gender.
I’ve been selected to compete as part of the top eight in the country at the national finals for WorldSkills and I’m really proud of my record. BAE Systems is a WorldSkills Industry Partner for Engineering and Technology, and they run competitions-based training, assessment, and benchmarking events, to raise standards in apprenticeships and technical education for young people and employers.
I was picked to train for international competitions, so in October I’m going to Germany to compete against the best apprentices in the world and hopefully I’ll come home with a medal!
Every job that I work on is completely different, and I need to be able to make the right decisions to manufacture the tool in the best possible way. If I need advice and ideas there’s always someone to listen and help me, and they come to me for advice and ideas as well. We’re just one big team, and with all the support I’ve had to develop my career, the salary, pension, share scheme and all the other benefits and opportunities, I’m looking forward to seeing where BAE Systems takes me next.’

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