Apprentice’s spark wins welding award

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A teenage apprentice from Cleckheaton has picked up a prestigious award after deciding to pursue an engineering career.

Brooke Lawford, 17, chose a welding training placement at Bradford catering equipment firm Victor Manufacturing after attending a female-only careers workshop.

The former Whitcliffe Mount School pupil has always wanted to work with machinery, and her childhood dream was to be a car mechanic.

She has now been handed the Best First Year Fabrication Apprentice award by training provider Kirkdale Industrial Training Services, a Brighouse firm who run the girls-only taster courses.

Brooke was given a glass trophy and a welding mask as her prize in recognition of her contribution to projects for high-street chains Greggs and Wetherspoons.

And the teenager doesn’t regret choosing not to follow her friends into school sixth forms.

“Everyone at work is so friendly and having my own mentor has really helped my confidence grow. I wanted to be a car mechanic when I was six years old and later on, I did some work experience with my godfather, who owns an engineering company. Since then, I always knew I wanted a career in engineering,” she said.

Brooke has now completed Kirkdale’s Level One fabrication course and is on track to finish her Level Two apprenticeship within three years. Her employers commended her attitude to learning, confidence and enthusiasm.