High-flying sales boss at Peterborough company urges more women to opt for engineering career

Engineering apprentice April Edwards and sales manager Sharron King.
Engineering apprentice April Edwards and sales manager Sharron King.
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Peter Brotherhood sales boss Sharron King is urging women to opt for engineering as a career.

Her call comes three decades after Sharron joined the iconic Peterborough engineering giant as an engineering apprentice.

Darrell Chalmers, operations director, April Edwards, Sharron King and Libby Shough, HR business partner.

Darrell Chalmers, operations director, April Edwards, Sharron King and Libby Shough, HR business partner.

Now as the company's sales manager responsible for global sales of £15 million, she says engineering should be a career choice for more women.

She said: “Engineering is challenging, rewarding and inspiring.

"It’s about problem solving and as engineering is continually evolving, it means the learning never stops.

“Apprenticeships are a great career path where you can gain practical skills and learn on the job.

"Females at school studying for their GCSEs this year who are thinking about an engineering apprenticeship should go for it.”

Sharron joined Peter Brotherhood as a reprographics assistant after leaving Arthur Mellows School in Glinton, Peterborough with six GCSEs.

She was inspired by the opportunities of an apprenticeship at the company and qualified in 1994 and worked her way up the career ladder.

She successfully took on a variety of roles such as draughtsperson, applications engineer and project manager.

Sharron said: “Times were very different 30 years ago and it was very unusual for females to become apprentices in the engineering sector; many people had reservations about me doing an apprenticeship.

"But I knew I made the right career choice. I have travelled the world for business and this has benefited me with invaluable experience and a greater appreciation of the engineering profession.”

The practical learning Sharron received during her apprenticeship inspired her to go on to study for a degree. She spent a further six years on day release to gain a BSC honours degree in Integrated Technologies at Peterborough Regional College.

Peter Brotherhood continues to recruit apprentices.

It has invested in training three first-year apprentices including April Edwards, who also went to Arthur Mellows School and gained 6 GCSEs.

April said: “Peter Brotherhood came to my school and talked about what they did.

They were very friendly and I was really interested in the skills that go into making their products. I knew I wanted to work for them.

"What was most attractive was the fact I knew I would be getting my hands dirty and would be able to work and learn at the same time."

Greg Harding, general manager at Peter Brotherhood, said: “This is a great example of the many career opportunities open to our apprentices.

"As we start training up our new crop of apprentices it is encouraging to see that engineering is an attractive career option for women.”

Libby Shough, HR Business Partner at Peter Brotherhood, said: “We value the close links we have with local schools and colleges who play an important role in ensuring that we can recruit a diverse range of new apprentices to help our business succeed in the future."

Peter Brotherhood will be at the National Apprenticeship Week Recruitment Fair on Thursday (March 7) between 4pm and 7pm at Peterborough Regional College.

Alternatively, contact apprenticeships@peterbrotherhood.com to find out more information or, to apply, log on to the Apprenticeship page at www.peterbrotherhood.com/apprenticeships and download the 2019 Apprenticeship Application Form.