End of apprenticeship opens doors to new career

Sophie Hodgson successfully completed Quality Engineer Level 3 BTEC extended diploma in engineering and is now a fully qualified Tex Plastics Quality Engineer.

21st February 2022

Tex Plastics Quality Assurance team gets a new Quality Engineer

Sophie took up the vocational apprenticeship with Tex Plastics straight from leaving school. Tex Plastics were delighted to welcome Sophie onboard and she quickly established herself as one of the team. Sophie’s apprenticeship means that she studied BTEC Level 3 Engineering with Chesterfield College, at a facility close to the Derby operation – whilst she’s getting in-house training, support and experience from the Quality Assurance team at Tex Plastics Derby. She is now a fully qualified Quality Engineer, and an important member of the Quality Assurance team at Tex Plastics Derby.

Sophie achieved Level 3 BTEC extended diploma in engineering

What’s more impressive is that Sophie was given 3 years to complete the Level 3 BTEC diploma in engineering – hence the extended reference. Full-time college students of the course take the qualification in 2 years, however with much less study time, Sophie completed all her modules and successfully passed the exam.

“What I enjoyed most about the apprenticeship process was how it gives you a total understanding of how parts are made. Working in Tex Plastics, I could see every stage of the manufacturing processes the products needed to go through. I had to understand the part the plastic components play in their application of the finished product. This understanding made my studies more relevant, and makes the job really interesting.”

Sophie Hodgson Tex Plastics Quality Engineer

Why more female engineers are needed

There’s still work to be done in breaking down the stereotype that engineering is predominantly a career for men. WISE (Women into Science and Engineering) was established in 1984 following the Finniston Report on the future of engineering in the UK. Working with the Women’s Engineering Society (WES), WISE has inspired thousands of women and girls to work in engineering.

‘There are 6.1 million engineering roles in the UK and recent figures suggest that a further 1.8m engineers are needed by 2025. This leaves us facing a massive engineering skills gap in the UK. To close this and ensure we have the talented engineers we need for the future, we must recruit more widely and more inclusively.’

Kay Hussain Chief Executive Officer of WISE

Tex Plastics want to encourage and champion other women

This is important to Tex Plastics as we all need to work together to encourage other women in to engineering and show them that we understand their issues and barriers. By sharing your own experiences, fears and achievements, others will see engineering as a worthwhile and rewarding career choice. There are now more than one million women working in core STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) roles across the UK – but to keep this number moving in the right direction, there’s still work to be done.

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