A DRIVEN young engineer from Rugby has won a prestigious award for her dedication as an apprentice – and for influencing females to consider a career in a male-dominated profession.
Hannah Linden, an apprentice with Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) in Castle Bromwich, was awarded the Make UK Engineering Apprentice Rising Star for showing outstanding behaviour and communication skills – and for using her journey as an inspiration for others.
The 21-year-old Brownsover resident said she was shocked for several days after hearing she had won the award.
She told The Observer: “I am so proud of myself for achieving this, and will use it to help my profile as an ambassador for JLR and Make UK.
“I feel it will help me get my point across on why apprenticeships need to be promoted, and enable me to connect better with the younger generation – especially people who were in the same position as me just never feeling good enough or not fitting in with crowd.”
After taking an A-level in Art and Design at college, former Ashlawn School student Hannah decided to make the switch to manufacturing – thanks in no small part to the influence of her dad Paul, who took an engineering apprenticeship in his youth.
“Whenever he spoke about his work, it always did interest me – but didn’t think it was something I’d ever do.
“As soon as I started my apprenticeship, I knew engineering was something I was going to do for a very long time.”
Now in the third year of her apprenticeship, Hannah is loving the daily lessons and challenges she faces in her current role in JLR’s Metrology department.
Now she is determined to change the perception of her male-dominated career and encourage more girls into the profession.
She said: “It feels great that I can be a role model to students or other female engineers.
“When I was at school, I never really heard of women doing engineering or the benefits of doing an apprenticeship. I want to change that narrative.
“I’ve been on such a journey with my apprenticeship, and showing this through my socials hopefully can prove that anyone can do anything – you just need to put in the effort.”
After her apprenticeship ends, Hannah plans to become an engineer in the field of metrology, the science of measurement – and wants to continue to inspire future apprentices.
“I’d like to do more talks with females in my industry and show them how I gained my confidence while being in such a male dominant industry,” she said. “Being able to inspire more woman into manufacturing would be amazing.
“Companies need more females to get involved in this industry – not only to make it more diverse, but also because they need our skills.
Woman can do engineering and we can do a good job of it.
“However, I think my main ambition is outside of work – which is to always be myself and ensure I constantly push myself to the highest standard I can.”
Rugby-based manufacturer Lisi Aerospace also picked up an award at the Make UK award ceremony, which was held at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham.
Lisi, which manufactures engine and structural components used for aircrafts, took home the prize for Health, Safety and Wellbeing.
Credited by judges for having an excellent H&S record, the company decided to build on their employee wellbeing by reaching out to a university to understand the effects on performance and impact at the company by prioritising wellbeing.
Hannah and Lisi Aerospace will now go on to compete against other companies and apprentices from around the UK at the national finals, which will be held in London in January.