Gearing up for engineering

Release Date: 10 March 2017

With a woman prime minister, a woman first minister and each of the main political parties at Holyrood having a woman leader it seems absurd that there are still industries described as ‘male-dominated’ or ‘female-dominated’.

women into engineering ARTICLE
Samantha Lamprecht: getting to grips with a career in engineering.

Yet women account for less than 4% of engineering apprenticeship starts – except at D&A College where staff are waging war on that gender gap.

One example who has switched from the care industry, traditionally described as female-dominated, to the car industry, usually associated with men, is D&A student Samantha Lamprecht.

The mother-of-two is enrolled on the vehicle engineering programme at Kingsway Campus where she is currently gearing up for a work placement in a city garage.

Before coming to college Samantha, was involved in the care sector working with the elderly in both Perth and Dundee.

The student had a begun a career in care straight from school – working in the nursery sector.

Now, however, the Dundee resident is aiming for a motor vehicle apprenticeship.

“It was actually when I was learning to drive that I really developed an interest in the maintenance side of things,” explained Samantha.

“I’ve always been keen on knowing how to do things for myself, so having a car and a motor-bike led to me becoming immersed in motor mechanics.”

Samantha admits that coming to college in the first instance was just to gain the skills she wanted to maintain her own vehicles but her attitude soon changed.

“When I first came to college it was just to learn for myself but the more I have learned the more I want to do – and now I’m determined to make a career out of vehicle maintenance.”

And the student can hardly wait to gain real work experience with Mac Motorsports, North Isla Street.

Work placements are an integral part of the vehicle engineering courses at D&A College, offering students a chance to see if they are really going to enjoy the industry and the employers the chance to grade the students.

“All our full-time vehicle students have the chance to go on a work placement – those that satisfy the employers are offered apprenticeships,” said Scott McGovern workforce development officer at D&A.

Scott is pleased to see Samantha do so well and keen to see more female students enrolling in future.

“We have five female motor vehicle students at present but are currently interviewing for next year’s intake and are expecting twice that number.”