The engine behind EEF’s Technology Hub – which trains over 400 engineering apprentices each year – is its staff of tutors. These tutors come directly from industry, bringing first-hand experience of not only the current technologies, but also what employers expect from apprentices and future leaders.
One such tutor is Michelle Gilmore, who teaches BTEC & HNC, engineering drawings, and health and safety (amongst other courses). Prior to joining EEF, Michelle got her start studying product design and teaching at university and working in a packaging development role at a UK company.
Michelle eventually realised her true passion lay with helping the next generation – especially young women – get into engineering and pursue their career goals. Since joining EEF, Michelle has found she’s enjoyed training the apprentices who are treated more like colleagues (with the expectations of team work, problem solving attitude, work ethic and punctuality that come with that role) than students.
“The apprentices are natural innovators and problem solvers. They’re keen to get the latest knowledge and share innovations,” Michelle says.
She particularly enjoys talking with young women about the particular challenges or stereotypes they’ve faced going into engineering – a traditionally male dominated field. Michelle will often share her industry experience and how she started off in industry.
Her experience at EEF has opened her eyes to the value of apprenticeships. She says, “Besides getting a free education, apprenticeships prepares young people to hit the ground running and not face the huge learning curve many coming out of school and straight into the workplace encounter. It’s also a great chance to network with others in your field that will work across industry and at different companies.”