Apprenticeships let Clydesdale women chase their dream jobs

Corrie Stewart and Kathryn Callander
Corrie Stewart and Kathryn Callander
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Two young Clydesdale women are going for the careers they want, thanks to apprenticeships.

Security trainee Corrie Stewart, of Carluke, combines her work at Glasgow-basedConnelly Security Systems with studying at the New College Lanarkshire’s Motherwell campus.

The 22-year-old is one of 700 apprentices at the college earning while they learn.

It was a school-college partnership that first sparked Corrie’s interest in electrical engineering.

While at Biggar High School, she had a taster programme in manufacturing at the college, and that led to her studying for a national certificate in electrical and electronic engineering.

She is now now in her final months of a three-year modern apprenticeship in fire and security.

“I had always known that I wanted to work in a trade, even though I was the only girl out of my group of friends who was interested in this type of work,” said Corrie.

“I love doing the modern apprenticeship as every week I learn something new.”

Kathryn Callander, also of Carluke, is chasing her dream of becoming a civil engineer thanks to an apprenticeship scheme too.

Now working for South Lanarkshire Council as an assistant engineering officer in its contracting section, a career in civil engineering was not something she had ever thought about.

Kathryn, 29, said: “I left school at 16 to care for my gran with no clue what I would do,”

After her gran’s death, Kathryn got a job with the council’s roads department before a move to the roads depot sparked her interest in civil engineering.

In the contracting department, a team leader encouraged her to go to college.

Kathryn used her holidays to attend and paid her own way to pursue a civil engineering career.

She was helped with the award of two Quest scholarships by the Institution of Civil Engineers.

Kathyrn will next complete her HND.

Uni9versity is not the appropriate route for every young person in their bid to achieve in their chosen career. Through apprenticeships young people can get high-quality training while working in a great industry and not have to attend university or face the prospect of large debts from pursuing the university option.

They can choose to work, learn and earn, all at the same time, and still achieve the goal of becoming whatever they want.

Kathryn said: “I chose this route probably as I didn’t know that I wanted a career in civil engineering, so got a job, and once I had been working for two or three years I decided to gain further education.

“I had commitments and wasn’t in a position to leave work to go to university. I supported myself through five years of college, paying my own fees and using my annual leave from work to attend one day a week.

“I fought long and hard, and last year it paid off when I finally got a civil engineering job.”