AN ex-head girl on the traditional path to university chose to take an engineering apprenticeship with Procter & Gamble instead, and it’s proving to be the best decision she ever made.
Emily Hamlin, 17, from Horndon, is in her first year of an apprenticeship with P&G. She currently studies five days a week at South Essex College’s Grays town centre campus, where she is the only female in her engineering class. She then undertakes placements at the West Thurrock manufacturing plant and distribution centre during the holidays.
As Emily progresses through her four year course, she’ll spend more time working at P&G. She’ll eventually leave college with an Advanced Apprenticeship in Engineering Level 3 Diploma and hopefully a full-time job at the end of it.
Originally, a top pupil and head girl at St Clere’s School in Stanford-le-Hope, Emily perused the normal A-level route at a grammar school sixth form after her GCSEs. She worked hard and passed her first year but found it very stressful. She said: “There was too much pressure put on us to get into a top university, it was difficult to think about that while studying really hard at the same time.”
After much thought, Emily decided to change her direction when she applied and secured the apprenticeship at P&G. She added: “My parents were worried when I told them I was switching to an apprenticeship but I explained to them, it would open up plenty more opportunities for me.
“I’m a lot happier, I’ve been interested in engineering from a young age and now I’m doing what I want to do! The pressure of getting into university is off and I can concentrate on learning and building my skill-set.
“I’m enjoying my practical placements and the hands-on experience I’m gaining. I spend time in different departments and get a real feel for how the company works.
You wouldn’t get these kind of real-life opportunities on a degree course. I think apprenticeships are a great option for young people, they’re really worth it.”