A second year apprentice training with the Coventry-based Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre has been named as one of the top 50 women in engineering in the UK.
Melissa Chigubu, who only came to the UK from her native Zimbabwe seven years ago, has been given the accolade by the Women’s Engineering Society. Her nomination was announced at the Women’s Engineering Society centenary dinner at the Waldorf Hotel in London and she received her award at a ceremony at the Royal Academy of Engineering.
Aged 19, Melissa, who lives in Abingdon, developed her love of hands-on engineering after being enthused by her uncles in Zimbabwe. She came to the UK in 2012 and was the first female to complete the Foundation Gateway in the Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre’s new Apprenticeship Engineering Standard programme.
She was the AMTC’s Apprentice of the Month on three occasions and became an enthusiastic advocate of women in engineering.
Paul Rowlett, managing director of the AMTC, said Melissa embraced challenge as an opportunity and is passionate about encouraging others to do the same, particularly women.
“Melissa is a talented and dedicated learner who strives to excel, demonstrating exceptional skills for her early career stage. Our training staff regard her competency portfolio as the best they have ever seen, and this accolade recognises her outstanding performance, professional behaviour and support of other learners,” he said.
He added, “She is a strong advocate for women in engineering and in apprenticeships. She has been instrumental in activities that aim to encourage women to follow engineering career paths as well as to increase teacher and parent engagement by breaking down traditional stereotypes.”
The Top 50 Women in Engineering accolade was founded by the Women’s Engineering Society in 2016, linked to International Women in Engineering Day. It aims to address the skills shortage in engineering and highlight the discrepancy between men and women entering engineering and manufacturing. The 2019 awards focused on current and former apprentices.
The MTC was founded by the University of Birmingham, Loughborough University, the University of Nottingham and TWI Ltd. The MTC’s industrial members include some of the UK’s major global manufacturers.
The MTC aims to provide a competitive environment to bridge the gap between university-based research and the development of innovative manufacturing solutions, in line with the Government’s manufacturing strategy. The MTC is part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, supported by Innovate UK.