TEN places for new apprentices at HM Naval Base Clyde are up for grabs as Babcock International gears up to recruit its next intake of young engineers.

The aerospace and defence firm has timed its recruitment drive to coincide with the UK's Apprenticeship Week, running from March 4-8 across the country – and it's hoping that the experience of one of its current 'phase one' apprentices will encourage other young people to apply to the scheme.

The deadline to apply for a place on the company's 2019 apprenticeship scheme is Sunday, March 17.

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Lauren Rodgers' interest in engineering started when she attended a ‘Girls into Engineering’ event held at school.

Convinced that electrical engineering was something she needed to know more about, Lauren was supported by her father, Craig, who started his career as an Electrical and Electronics apprentice.

Craig supported Lauren in her studies and was happy that Lauren’s school and Skills Development Scotland worked closely together to underline the virtues of an apprenticeship-based route into a career in engineering.

At the first opportunity, Lauren took up the offer of a week-long work placement at HMNB Clyde, getting to see how large scale electrical operations work and require to be maintained.

A Sea Scout for more than nine years, Lauren is looking forward to being based in a nautical setting when she finishes her college-based 'phase one' training.

Lauren said: “My dad was an apprentice at HMNB Clyde and he was keen that I understood just how valuable an apprenticeship can be.

"I can’t wait to work on some of the high voltage equipment when I start my time at the naval base next year.”

An advocate for more women in engineering, Lauren is keen to point out that engineering is a career that anyone with suitable qualifications can pursue.

“I love engineering and the challenges it offers," she said, "and I’m excited to see how far I can develop my skills.

"Engineering is for everyone and I’d encourage more women and more people from diverse backgrounds to consider an apprenticeship like mine.”

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Gavin Leckie, Babcock’s managing director at HMNB Clyde said: “I’m delighted that our apprenticeship scheme is popular with both men and women.

"Bringing apprentices into our operation is important to me because they bring energy, drive and innovation into Babcock.

"Babcock is a really good place to build a career and I want to encourage as many people as possible to apply to join our apprenticeship scheme.

“We offer a wide range of apprenticeships at Clyde which support our customer and provide excellent prospects – I’m very much looking forward to welcoming 2019’s intake who, I’m sure, will continue to drive our business forward.”

Babcock welcomes applications from anyone who will be at least 16 years of age on September 9, 2019, and who has, or is predicted to have, the required qualifications by that date.

The closing date for applications is March 17, 2019, and full details of the apprenticeships available and the qualifications required can be found by looking for ‘Clyde Apprenticeships’ at www.babcockinternational.com.