A TEENAGE girl from Bromsgrove who is blazing a trail as an engineering apprentice is urging other young females to give it a shot.

Former North Bromsgrove High School student Abbie Beaver, 17, has become the first-ever female trade apprentice at Birmingham-based engineering firm adi Group.

And to mark both National Apprenticeship Week and International Women's Day, Abbie says she hopes more girls will take up the challenge.

She said: “My mates find it interesting. Most women don’t go into engineering, so showing that we can do it has impressed them.

"I’d tell other women to give it a shot.

"Go to a taster day and, if you enjoy it, then take it up and get into the workshop, even if it’s male-dominated.

"You can be better than all the men.”

Abbie became interested in engineering at the age of 14, when she signed up for adi Group’s pioneering unique pre-apprenticeship scheme, along with fellow former North Bromsgrove High pupil Joshua Brown.

The programme, run in partnership with North Bromsgrove High School since 2016, gives a select group of 12 GCSE students the chance to get valuable experience of engineering in the real-life work environment for one afternoon a week over two years at adi’s Kings Norton HQ.

“It beats school by miles,” Abbie added. “You get the same qualifications but you’re earning while you’re learning and you meet new people, who teach you new things across a broader spectrum.

“We’re here four days a week and spend one day at college, where we do welding and fabrication assignments.

"But here we learn our own jobs and have our own tasks to complete. We’re learning skills we wouldn’t learn at college, like how to read drawings and how to communicate.”

Meanwhile, Joshua, who has chosen to pursue a specialist control panel wiring apprenticeship, has noticed some of his friends are envious.

He said: “Quite a few now think they’d rather have gone into an apprenticeship than do A-levels. They’d rather be more hands-on than behind a desk.

"It’s laid-back, I don’t feel pressured and my mentors are very approachable. I’m never scared to ask a question.”

There are still a number of apprenticeships available in adi Group’s 2019 intake - visit www.adiltd.co.uk/careers/ for more information.