ELECTRICAL engineering apprentice Lauren Dunston is spearheading a search for more girls to train for a career in the sector.
Lauren, aged 17, from Chesterfield, is one of just a handful of girls across the country to win a place on an apprenticeship Level II NVQ course.
But Peter Dolman, training manager at NLT Training Services in Sheffield, who gave Lauren her first start in the trade, says there's no reason why girls shouldn't be a success in an industry where the skills gap grows wider year by year, and where qualified electrical engineers are in big demand.
Lauren picked up tips from her electrician uncle and chose an electrical firm for her work experience while still at school.
She has been described by her teachers as an outstanding prospect.
Peter said: "We are delighted with Lauren's progress so far. Her practical and written work has been outstanding and if she continues in this way, we have high hopes for her as she starts her apprenticeship.
"We are currently looking for placements in regional electrical businesses for young apprentices like Lauren who are undoubtedly the budding electricians of the future."
Lauren says she wants either to join a local firm or become an electrical engineer in the Army once she qualifies.
"I started the course in December and am really enjoying the practical skills I'm learning.
"It is great to be treated like an adult by the tutors, and I feel like I've fitted in and been accepted by the others as one of the lads.
"I am looking forward to starting my NVQ and to finding a placement where I can gain lots of worthwhile experience," she said.
Every year NLT Training Services provides school and college leavers with apprenticeship opportunities throughout the region, in many occupational areas that give young people the opportunity to gain hands-on experience while earning a wage and working towards nationally recognised qualifications
n For more information on providing a work placement for an apprentice, or to become an apprentice yourself, contact NLT Training Services on 0845 40 80 378 or visit the website www.nlt-training.co.uk.