A female student from Duchy College Rosewarne is excelling in a typically male dominated environment.
Apprentice Sharon McArdle, 24, from Bude completed her NVQ Level 2 in Land-based Engineering at Duchy Rosewarne in the summer. She was the only girl in the group but that has not put her off – she has returned to college this academic year to further her studies with the Land-Based Engineering Operations Diploma Level 3.
Last year was a fantastic experience for Sharon; she is the only female to have completed the course with Duchy College, she received an award for Top Academic Achiever at the College and was also entered in to the Apprentice of the Year competition.
Sharon is an apprentice with Ray Hambly Agricultural Engineers and studies at college once a week.
“I’m enjoying studying the next level as it’s more diagnostic and you need to know this before you can fix things, last year was all about repairs so I’m enjoying investigating problems and learning something new,” explained Sharon.
“An Apprenticeship works really well for me, getting paid while you learn is great and coming to college reinforces what I do at work. Initially college really helped to boost my confidence, it’s nice to meet other people and work together on different projects in the workshop.”
Unfazed by the male dominated environment, Sharon added: “The lads are really great to work with and don’t treat me any different, we all get lots of support from the tutors and I’m beginning to build a really good portfolio.”
Sharon has been interested in cars and motorbikes since her early teens but fell into the agricultural side when an apprenticeship opportunity arose with Ray Hambly: “Now I really love working on the older agricultural stuff; it’s more hands-on.”
When asked what her family think of her working in overalls, Sharon replied: “My mum is really impressed and proud at what I do, she works in a school and when one of the youngsters recently said they couldn’t be a mechanic because they’re a girl she used me as an example of how you can!”
Dave Linnell, Principal of Cornwall College of which Duchy College is part, said: “Sharon is a great role-model for our students, she works hard and is proving that you can get ahead in whichever industry you decide to pursue.”
For further details on Apprenticeships or the Land-based Engineering courses available at Duchy College Rosewarne please phone 01209 721321.
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