Engineering a great career for talented teenager

Published: July 15, 2016

Being a woman in a man’s world is nothing new for enterprising Shropshire teenager HarleyJayne Tisdale.

The 17-year-old was the only female on her engineering course at Telford College of Arts and Technology.

And now, the City and Guilds Diploma she has gained at TCAT has helped to secure a job in another male-dominated environment at Telford-based civil engineering company Freyssinet Limited.

She has just started work as a trainee design technician, working in the structural and civil engineering design department of the company, based at Euston Way in the town centre.

HarleyJayne, from Dawley, said her interest in engineering and manufacturing began could be traced back to when she was around 12 years old.

The former Phoenix School student completed ‘gifted and talented’ awards in recognition of her natural ability in areas such as robotics, machining, and aerodynamics of wind turbine components.

And she has not been the least bit concerned at being the only female on her level three Manufacturing Engineering course at TCAT.

I have healthy banter with the lads on the course, but at the end of the day they know how good I am so don’t bother me too much.

It’s easier to concentrate being in a class with a load of lads – they are a great group of people and we always help each other out

I especially love using the lathes, making things with my own hands and then quality-checking the tolerance myself. The practical work is great – I don’t mind getting greasy and dirty.

HarleyJayne says she chose TCAT because she believes the facilities are the best in Shropshire for manufacturing and engineering courses.

The staff here are industry experts; they have all spent years in the trade and I love learning from them. They are inspiring and supportive

My time at TCAT has helped me develop my passion for manufacturing and engineering. I have learnt a lot about the sector and also expanded my physics and maths skills. To be a great engineer you need to be good at maths and TCAT has helped me improve.

She said she owed a big thanks to her teacher at Phoenix School, Rebecca Phillips, for inspiring her to follow her dreams.

HarleyJayne’s tutor at TCAT, Mark Underwood, said:

She is a very talented, confident and intelligent young lady who has a great future in engineering.

The aim of this course is to prepare students for a higher modern apprenticeship with a reputable employer – we have so many industry links here at TCAT that we knew HarleyJayne would have lots of positive opportunities coming her way.

And the last word goes to HarleyJayne, who adds:

To anyone considering a career in engineering, come to TCAT – the facilities here are some of the best, and once you step a foot through the door you won’t be disappointed.

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