Stevenage mechanical engineer wins national apprentice award and vows to ‘smash stereotypes’

Mechanical engineering apprentice Tatiana Peters is determined to help break the stereotype that eng

Mechanical engineering apprentice Tatiana Peters is determined to help break the stereotype that engineering is too technical, dull and a man's world. Picture: Courtesy of MBDA - Credit: Archant

A mechanical engineering apprentice - determined to break the stereotype of the profession and help address the significant skills and diversity shortfall in this sector - has won a national award.

Tatiana Peters has recently completed an apprenticeship scheme at missile systems company MBDA in Stevenage and has won The Royal Navy Award for Advanced Apprentice of the Year in the National Apprenticeship Awards 2019.

MBDA - which designs and produces missile systems to meet the operational requirements of the three armed forces, and has 10,500 employees worldwide - currently has around 100 apprentices in the UK and takes on up to 40 each year.

Tatiana said: "I am so overwhelmed and astonished by this achievement and honestly cannot believe it. I am so proud of myself and extremely happy that so many people believed in me.

"By winning this award I now have the positive exposure and a prestigious platform to stand on. This will aid me in becoming a role model for young girls, to inspire them into a STEM-related pathway and also to smash the stereotypes. It's onwards and upwards from here."

The Royal Academy of Engineering says deep-rooted perceptions of engineering as mechanical, too technical and dull has led to a significant engineering skills and diversity shortfall that is holding back growth and productivity across the UK economy.

The academy's chief executive, Doctor Hayaatun Sillem, said: "Engineering and technology play an incredible role in shaping the world around us and in addressing some of society's biggest challenges, from providing a sustainable supply of food, water and clean energy, to advancing healthcare, and keeping us safe and secure. We know young people increasingly want to tackle these issues and make a difference in the world, but unfortunately the lack of understanding around engineering is stopping them from exploring careers that will enable them to do this.

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"We face a shortfall of up to 59,000 engineers each year in the UK, and there is a pressing need to diversify our engineering workforce, since only 12 per cent are female and nine per cent are from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds."

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