Sophie Claesen - Martin-Baker Aircraft Company Limited: Women in engineering

“I am doing my Mechanical Engineering - Technical Support Level 3 Apprenticeship through West Met Skills, as they are the training provider for my employer Martin-Baker Aircraft Company Limited. The facilities are great and I am looking forward to seeing the new facilities that are currently under construction for the West London Institute of Technology programmes.

The lectures are good and lecturers ensure everyone has understood the topic before they move onto the next topic. The majority of apprentices are usually offered a job after completion.

I would recommend applying for apprenticeship vacancies through West Met Skills to others, as they make sure that you have the basic knowledge to carry out your day-to-day job as well as gain the qualifications you want whilst you are in the working environment.”

Outstanding contributions to the workplace, leading to a significant positive impact on the business

Sophie’s manager says, “Her depth of knowledge and understanding about our systems and equipment is fantastic. She works within the Inspection department; she has assisted in the generation of some M.I.C’s (Master Inspection Characteristics). This is a system to generate inspection plans that give other inspectors guidance on what drawing characteristics and features are required to be inspected or tested. Sophie was given the responsibility to set out basic guidelines for the staff in order to use the system more effectively and efficiently. She successfully established a set of instructions, which are now being used across the department - even by the more experienced and skilled engineers in the department.

Sophie is always keen on learning about new equipment and finding easier ways to use them. We have a piece of equipment called a Spring Tester, and within our department, there is limited knowledge about how to use and maintain the tester. It was clear that we needed to write a standard operating procedure (SOP) to operate this equipment safely. As a part of her passion for simplifying the use of equipment, Sophie took up the challenge and put together a fantastic user manual for the spring tester, which is easily comprehensible for the staff. The manual is now signed off by the senior team and is ready to be used. Owning a challenge like this for such a young apprentice is truly admirable.

As an employer, we believe in helping individuals grow and we have an enviable reputation for developing and retaining our people.I strongly believe Sophie will go a long way in her career. It is remarkable how Sophie has progressed within her apprenticeship since she has joined us. She has shown real passion and dedication for the sector she works in. She has a genuine interest to learn about new equipment and processes. Having to work in an engineering sector that requires precision, passion and persistence, a young woman like Sophie certainly deserves credit and recognition. She is one of those inspirational and talented #STEM girls, who is managing her daily anxieties and paving her way to become an aspiring engineer in the industry.”


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