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Meet Rosie Davies

A Close Brothers funded apprentice

“I was the only girl that turned up to my college with steel capped boots.”

Rosie Davies works as an engineering apprentice for Penny Hydraulics.

Apprenticeships bring opportunity

Rosie has been part of the apprenticeship programme since 2018 and has been training with Penny Hydraulics since 2020.

It was a natural decision for her to turn her hand to engineering after school finished as her grandad, dad and uncle all worked in similar fields and it was always a sector in which she had wanted to work. However, she did face some barriers before reaching her apprenticeship. 

During her time in college, Rosie was the only girl in the engineering and mathematics course and even the teachers tried to persuade her against pursuing engineering. 

“I was the only girl that turned up in steel capped boots and the teachers warned my parents against me joining the engineering class.” 

Very determined, Rosie proved them wrong, finishing the class with the top marks and decided to become an apprentice after a teacher pointed her towards the University of Sheffield AMRC Training Centre and Close Brothers’ apprentice programme. 

During her third year of training, Rosie spoke to young girls, at the AMRC Knowledge Transfer Centre, to encourage a career in engineering, highlighting the opportunities available.  

Rosie is now in her fourth year and approaching the end of her apprenticeship, with her endpoint assessment in sight; and what a year it has been!  

In July 2021, Penny Hydraulics invested in its first CNC machine for which Rosie was one of a small group of employees involved in its installation and training. Now, she uses the CNC daily, machining components inhouse.  This has not only reduced component purchase costs but has enabled greater opportunity for bespoke machining as well as accuracy.

Only this week, Rosie spent two days in London working with the company’s R&L (Raising and Lowering) team.  Sites included Hampton Court, “who else can say they’ve worked in Henry the Eighth’s attic”, Hamleys (getting there at 4.00 am in the morning) and the Athenaeum Club (renowned for its intellectual and influential members).  

Rosie was amazed at the confluence between historical settings, mechanics and modern engineering. She was able to see for example, how the chamfered tube that she had made in the factory, played its role in safely, suspending heavy objects.

While on site, her supervisor encouraged Rosie to take the lead at certain jobs, encouraging her to think logically about the steps required to undertake a job safely and effectively, developing aspects of her competency, critical thinking and practical experience.

Rosie acknowledges that undertaking an apprenticeship during the last two years have been challenging but praises the AMRC Training Centre for being able to deliver effective, remote training and providing the support for students.  For anyone considering an apprenticeship in the future, Rosie would recommend it.

“The mix of practical and theory is unbeatable and you can finish the course with the same qualifications as if you’d been to university, but you’ve been earning while you’ve been learning.”