A 21-YEAR-OLD from Pembroke Dock is encouraging more girls to follow in her footsteps and pursue a career in Science, Technology, Engineering or Maths (STEM).

Ellie Wilson, who is the first female apprentice at SemLogistics, will complete her four-year Higher Apprenticeship with Pembroke College in Instrumentation.

Having been interested in maths and science at school, Ellie is now progressing in her career after she completed a foundation degree in Instrumentation, and will progress onto an Electrical Electronics Engineering degree in September.

Ellie wants to raise awareness of her job and the apprenticeship pathway to provide positive examples to young girls in schools and show them the sky is the limit when it comes to engineering.

She said: “I was studying for my A levels when I saw an apprenticeship in engineering come up and I knew that it was the best way for me to get into the industry and learn as much as possible on the job.

“Very few people have heard of my job and few are aware of the careers available within the industry.

“My current position involves the installation and maintaining of all instrumentation and control systems on one of the UK’s largest petroleum products storage facility. My job is predominantly field-based and an integral part of my job is health and safety as I have to test all the equipment daily to make sure everything is running as it should.

“The oil and gas sector is a big industry in Pembrokeshire and I knew I didn’t want to sit at a desk all day - I wanted to be more hands on.

“As an apprentice, I’ve learned from the best; people actually working in the industry tackling real-life obstacles. There’s only so much you can learn from a book and I think the balance between theory and practical work suits me best. I can learn the skills and technical side in college and then put it straight into practice onsite.

“Because I’ve been in work and earning for a few years now I have a great quality of life, I’ve just bought my first car and I’m able to afford nice holidays.”

After winning an Engineering Apprenticeship Award (Instrumentation) at her local college, Ellie has helped them advertise engineering courses to encourage more females into the discipline.

Ellie continued: “I want to educate girls on the options available to them. The more female engineers that share their positive experiences, the more the message will filter through schools and colleges.

“Many people are still unaware of the number of careers available or the career pathways when it comes to the engineering industry and hopefully by educating society, we can introduce more females into the sector and to attract new talent.”