“Recruiting more women into manufacturing and engineering is very important to me, I really want to focus my efforts on encouraging more girls into what is proving to be a fantastic career.”
Gabrielle Lloyd (19) has always wanted to work in manufacturing. As a child she enjoyed dismantling things so much, she would wait until her dad had gone to work before finding his tools to take household objects apart.
“I even went as far as taking the doors off the hinges – needless to say he wasn’t very impressed when my door stopped shutting properly!” she said. “At first I wanted to follow his footsteps into joinery but that changed once I started my engineering work experience (where?) and I soon realised I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.”
During her regular work experiences at sixth form, Gabby heard of an apprenticeship opportunity at CarnaudMetalBox, applied and was awarded the first female apprenticeship as a mechanical fitter engineer.
“I’m now in my second year at CarnaudMetalBox and as I become more experienced, I’m trusted to do more without supervision. I’ve learnt a lot from my mentor and I’m now able to handle working on most parts of the machine build by myself.”
Gabby added: “I really wish I’d heard about Bradford Manufacturing Weeks when I was choosing my GCSEs at school – these are such important subject choices which can shape our experiences and careers. When I did apply for my apprenticeship, people would try and push me into going to university, which is something that just didn't appeal.
“Working as an apprentice has been a huge boost to my confidence and I want to do all I can to encourage more women into engineering and manufacturing as it was very daunting when I first started.
“But despite being the only female fitter, I have been welcomed by the rest of the guys at work and I'm really proud that two more female fitters have recently started. It's definitely a step in the right direction, I'm proud to be part of the team and I would encourage anyone and everyone to consider a career in manufacturing.”
Bradford Manufacturing Weeks begins on Monday 4th October and runs until Friday 15th
October. Led by West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce with primary sponsorship from Barclays and additional sponsorship from Naylor Wintersgill, E3 Recruitment, LCF Law and Bradford Council, Bradford Manufacturing Weeks has created more than 12,000 manufacturing experiences for the district’s 14-18 year-old students since its launch in 2018.
For more details of how your school or your manufacturing business can get involved, please contact Laura Dooher at the Opportunity Centre on Laura.email@example.com