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School’s progressive approach opens up engineering opportunities

19th June 2018

After leaving school, Katie Cherrell was unsure which career path she wanted to pursue. However, having seen what her brothers were doing at HETA, she decided to find out more about engineering.

Establishing a career route

“I went on a tour with healthcare provider Novatis,” says Katie. “This gave me a wider understanding of the sector and, from there I decided to give engineering a go. I am very glad that I did, as I am really enjoying it.  

“At HETA, we have everything we need to train with, it’s just on a smaller scale than real workplaces. It means we get all the basic training we need to set us up for our placements that start in the summer.”

Following the successful completion of her first year at HETA’s Stallingborough site, Katie will join Total Lindsey Oil Refinery as an electrical and instrumentation engineering apprentice.   

“When I decided to go into engineering, some people said that they couldn’t imagine me doing it,” explains Courtney. “It was great to secure such an amazing opportunity with Total and essentially prove the doubters wrong.”  

Inspired by school

However, this negativity towards women taking up roles in engineering has not been something Katie has widely encountered. She acknowledges she was lucky to attend a school that approached the topic in a forward-thinking way.  

“My school was incredibly supportive around the idea of women going into engineering,” she continues. “We had assemblies about it and further opportunities in the classroom to learn about the subject.  

“When I said I wanted to pursue it as a career, they were overjoyed for me. However, I know this isn’t everyone’s experience and many schools could do more to promote it. The more girls see it, the more they will hopefully follow in that direction.  

“My advice to girls looking at engineering would be to do what you want to do. Don’t let anyone say you can’t, because if you set yourself that challenge, you can achieve anything and it’s very rewarding.”