This month in the 'Women in ACR' series, the ACR Journal interviews Charlotte Dresser, age 19 who is an Apprentice Electrical Engineer with Mansfield Pollard.
Where did you study and which qualification did you gain?
I attended Crawshaw Academy, Pudsey, and Guiseley School, where I completed my GCSE’s. I have always been certain that I wanted to be an engineer so I enrolled at Bradford College where I gained my Diploma in Manufacturing Engineering.
Tell us about your employer
Mansfield Pollard is based in Bradford and has an enviable reputation for delivering bespoke air management and acoustic control solutions.
These are delivered to a wide range of UK and international customers working in sectors as diverse as health care, pharmaceutical production, leisure, retail and education.
The management team encourages every team member to succeed, and we are given endless opportunities to benefit from personalised training initiatives. It is reasons like this why the company won the ‘Outstanding Employer of the Year’ award at the Yorkshire Post Excellence in Business Awards 2015.
What attracted you to the industry?
This led to me taking part in a project to restore the front of an aircraft, and the Transport Trust named me ‘Young Preservationist of the Year’ for making a significant contribution to transport preservation. This was such an honour as I was the youngest person, and the first female, to win the award.
As soon as I started my Diploma I was able to explore this more, and my eyes were opened to a diverse and creative industry.
What do you specialise in now? Or, what type of projects do you work on?
As Mansfield Pollard deliver bespoke industrial air management and acoustic control solutions there is lots to get to grips with and every day is so varied. I love that I constantly need to be alert and proactive.
What do you know now about the industry which you wished you had known before?
I grew up thinking that engineering and manufacturing was the norm, and that everyone would share the same passion that I did! It was a huge eye opener to see that there was only one other female on my college course, and I was further shocked to hear that only 7% of people working in the UK engineering sector are women.
I was so happy to hear that Mansfield Pollard address this issue. They work hard to raise awareness, and promote the industry in schools and to young people. The message is to explain that our profession works with cutting edge technologies and has excellent career prospects in an expanding market, for men and women alike.
Manufacturing offers a long term career path and exciting and challenging work on a diverse range of projects.
"Manufacturing offers a long term career path and exciting and challenging work on a diverse range of projects."
What excites or interests you about the industry and your part in it now?
Once I am fully qualified as an electrical engineer, I will have developed the skills needed to undertake many more engineering positions. Being an engineer opens so many doors, and the knowledge that I am set to gain can be transferred to many more roles.
What would you say to other women who are considering coming into the ACR industry?
It is such an exciting, innovative, and fast paced industry, and you will be given the opportunity to work on a variety of complex projects.
I get to work with 150 team members who share my passion for the industry and work together to deliver projects for companies as diverse as pharmaceutical brands, luxury car makers and the aerospace industry, as well as major retail, leisure and commercial developments.
Where do you see your career developing?
What are the challenges of being an apprentice in this industry?
As an apprentice, I am spending a lot of time on the factory floor to watch and learn as much as possible, whilst juggling my college work. There are so many aspects to take into account, and so many processes to remember. I want to excel in everything that I do, and to qualify as quickly as possible.
What are the benefits of being in your role?
Engineering offers a rewarding career, with opportunities to travel, and work with the most innovative organisations, and people in the world. Another great benefit is that the analytical skills and technological expertise that I will develop can also be put to use in many other fields, and will definitely open so many doors for various career opportunities in the future.