Sophie wins impressive Engineering Apprenticeship Award

6th February 2023

An Engineering Apprentice from Solihull College & University Centre has been granted a Ladder for the Black Country award in recognition of the impact she has made in the industry.

Sophie Young, 19, joined the PP Control & Automation team in September 2021 as an Engineering & Manufacturing Technician Apprentice, and has since made a tremendous influence on the organisation and surpassed all expectations.

Within 5 months of starting her apprenticeship, Sophie impressed her colleagues by taking a project from quotation level all the way through to completion. She also presented at a live conference as part of International Women in Engineering Day (#INWED22). These achievements, alongside others, established her as a more than worthy candidate for the award. Sophie was also highly commended by judges in the overall category.

Sophie Young won the Engineering & Manufacturing Apprenticeship Award and was highly commended in the Overall Apprentice of the Year category

Speaking of her experience, Sophie shares: “This apprenticeship has definitely helped my development a lot more than if I got a degree through university. I say this because right from the start I’ve been able to get involved with the functions of the business, attend meetings, and gain those core soft skills as well as the educational and academic skills that accompany it.”

Sophie works 4 days of the week at the company with the remaining day spent at the College’s Woodlands Campus attending lectures and fulfilling her assessment requirements. Projects Sophie has been involved in so far include CAD processes, which she works on independently, learning multiple new software programs at once, and supporting project management and the CEO by preparing quotes and sending proposals to customers.

Continuous Improvement & Training Coordinator at PP Control & Automation, Scott Ward, is full of praise for Sophie:

“While spending the first 6 months in production to gain technical experience and knowledge Sophie showed that she is willing to try her hand at anything. Picking up the required standards of quality and service that our customers expect. Within her time in production was able to build strong relationships with management and team members.

As Sophie continues to progress within the engineering department, I have really seen her confidence grow, through communicating with others in the team, and attending customer meetings and visits. She has been proactive in her role, supporting others and ensuring her work is to the highest standard, which hasn’t gone unnoticed and is evident with her recent award.

It is also great to see that Sophie wants to share her experience with others through attending various school & college events, speaking about women in engineering, and mentoring students for work experience.

Sophie is a credit to the department and a true inspiration for future generations of young engineers.”

At a recent visit, the Secretary of State for Education, Gillian Keegan was very impressed to hear about Sophie’s achievements

Sophie will continue with her apprenticeship to degree level with PP Control & Automation and with her strong understanding of the business’ processes and goals moving forward, she hopes to be able to support these for a number of years. She aspires to reach a senior technical position during her time at PP Control & Automation and progress into management.

Congratulations Sophie!

Find out more about the College’s Engineering courses: Engineering