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2 minute read

Celebrating the female engineers of the future

Birmingham-based engineering company, adi Group, has reaffirmed its pledge to help bridge the gender divide in engineering by growing its pre-apprenticeship scheme.

Despite recent figures showing more people are entering apprenticeship schemes than ever before, for every female apprentice working within the UK engineering sector there are 25 male apprentices.

Identifying a need for high-quality vocational training for all genders, the Group launched the UK’s first pre-apprenticeship scheme in September 2016 for 14-16 year olds – 25% of whom are girls.

adi Group’s pre-apprenticeship scheme aims to increase the number of female engineers / Picture: adi


The scheme involves 12 secondary school students – male and female – attending adi Group’s Birmingham workshop for half a day each week to practical, hands-on skills needed to carve a career in either mechanical or electrical engineering. The two-year course runs alongside the students’ GCSE education, occupying 10% of their curriculum time.

Pre-apprentice Alicia Southerton, 14, said: “My dad works at Jaguar Land Rover in Solihull, and it’s always sparked an interest of engineering in my mind since I went to his work.

“I think it’s quite an inspirational and motivational thing and if girls ever get the opportunity they should go for it, because it’s not just a boy thing to do.”

Alan Lusty, CEO and founder of adi Group, comments: “Our pre-apprenticeship scheme links together industry and education to show school age children the benefits of engineering and present it as a viable career option.

“We hope that by taking on a healthy proportion of male and female apprentices each year we can contribute to closing the skills gap, ensuring that well-trained, dedicated professionals continue to enter the profession.

“More businesses need to follow our example by engaging with young people and encouraging them to consider engineering as an attractive potential career. We believe our pre-apprenticeship scheme offers a comprehensive model which other schools and employers will be able to replicate.”

14-year-old Alicia Southerton who is one of adi’s pre-apprentices / Picture: adi