Increase in female engineers

Angus Training Group group with their record breaking amount of apprentices pictured on Wednesday.
Angus Training Group group with their record breaking amount of apprentices pictured on Wednesday.

An Arbroath firm is helping to usher in a new generation of engineering apprentices, including a massive upswing in female applicants.

Arbroath Training Group (ATG), Catherine Street, is currently reaping the benefits of a surge in Modern Apprenticeships with their largest ever intake of 74 which also includes a record four female apprentices.

ATG company director Alan Swankie said: “We get on average about one a year, this is the most we’ve every had in the same year, it’s one of these things, it’s still seen as very much a male dominated industry.

“The ones that do come in do exceptionally well and we try to promote it more in the schools.

“I certainly hope to see more female applicants from now on due to these numbers.”

According to Alan government promotion of the Modern Apprenticeship scheme has seen a change in career choices.

He said: “The government has been promoting apprenticeships and over the last couple of years there’s certainly been a swing away from university and colleges because there’s no guarantee at the end of it.

“The whole industry is a bit cyclical, you get booms times and bust times, just four years ago we started the year with five apprentices, so that lets you see the upturn.”

A number of Arbroath firms are also showing signs of growth according to Alan. He said: “John M. Henderson Ltd have had a big increase this year, they normally take a couple of apprentices but this year they have taken five.

“LADCO Ltd have also taken more than they normally do. It’s a good sign for local companies.”

Other Arbroath firms which send their apprentices to ATG Ltd. include AGR Automation Ltd., Halliburton Mfg & Ser Ltd., Interplex PMP Ltd. and Pioneer Oil Tools Ltd.

This year over 300 applications were received for apprenticeships and ATG started their recruitment process in February instead of April to deal with the interest.