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Katie out performs scores of men
to engineer her future career.

A 16 year-old student from Southampton has beaten off ‘hundreds’ of others and bagged a prestigious six-year engineering apprenticeship.

Katie Hopper, who attends Salisbury’s University Technical College (UTC), was the only female who applied to Associated British Ports (ABP) for the higher level degree apprenticeship.

“It was all men at the interviews and they were all about ten years
older than me,” said Katie, who is studying a range of STEM subjects,
including engineering, electronics and computer science at the UTC.

The principal of the South Wiltshire UTC, Joe Mulligan, said it was
unheard of for a 16 year old to be offered a higher level degree
apprenticeship. “We are all very proud of what Katie has achieved, she
has worked tremendously hard and thoroughly deserves this amazing

According to the Women’s Engineering Society, the UK has the lowest
percentage of female engineers in Europe, at less than 10%. Katie
hopes she will be one of many young women bucking this trend.

“I am ecstatic of getting this far especially for my age, it is a
dream,” she said. “I also want to slowly and steadily promote women in

Katie has already completed some work experience at ABP. It’s the UK’s
leading ports’ operator with a network of 21 ports contributing, £7.5 billion to the UK economy, annually.

“During my work experience, I met the apprentices, saw project
management, worked with electrical, mechanical and facility management
teams. I got to drive cranes, go on a pilot launch trip and meet
people I should be working with,” Katie explained.

During her six year apprenticeship at ABP Katie will do her HNC, HND
and degree. And if she isn’t busy enough Katie also plays basketball
for the Solent Kestrels in the National Premier League.

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