Apprentice rubs shoulders with deputy prime minister Nick Clegg

PROUD MOMENT Bethany Wilson meets deputy prime minister Nick Clegg.
PROUD MOMENT Bethany Wilson meets deputy prime minister Nick Clegg.

An award-winning civil engineer got to rub shoulders with deputy prime minister Nick Clegg and share her passion for apprenticeships.

Bethany Wilson was one of just two girls in her class at Leeds College of Building – and now works as a transport planning technician on the M1 managed motorway scheme for junctions 39-42.

“CH2MHILL has provided me with amazing experience that is invaluable and very hard to obtain,” she said.

The 20-year-old received an award from the Institute of Civil Engineers for being the first female in the country to complete a new civil engineering apprenticeship introduced in 2011, and was chosen from thousands to be nominated for Apprentice of the Year at the Leeds Apprenticeship Awards.

Last week’s prestigious event at Admiralty House in London aimed to promote women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) careers.

She said: “I personally spoke to Nick Clegg for around 10 minutes about apprenticeships, and it was great, he was so passionate about it. More needs to be done about promoting apprenticeships to young people and I really want to help others experience things like I have.”

Bethany is currently working towards a level five higher level apprenticeship in civil engineering at CH2MHILL, based in Scott Lane, Morley.

She has begun the year on a high, winning the Institute of Civil Engineers’ Queen Elizabeth Trust scholarship, and has already completed her level five NVQ qualification, a year ahead of schedule, and will complete her apprenticeship in June.

She also got to meet the Duke of York, Prince Andrew, at Leeds College of Building last week.

Keen to help others follow in her footsteps, Bethany, of Upper Batley, speaks at high schools, writes for careers magazines and is an enthusiastic ambassador for her former college and the National Apprenticeship Service.

She added: “I believe apprenticeships are the way forward and more should be done to promote them.”

“You get the experience, the education and a wage, meaning no debt to be paying off for the rest of your life.”