Apprentices at MTC reach regional final of make UK manufacturing awards


Two female engineering apprentices being trained at the MTC have reached the regional final of Make UK’s prestigious Manufacturing Awards.

Nineteen-year-old Davina Kaur is shortlisted in the North East, Yorkshire and Humberside finals of the Apprentice Endeavour Award, while 37 year-old Camila Rey da Rosa is a South regional finalist in the Engineering Apprentice Rising Star category.

Davina’s nomination recognises her inspirational personal and professional transformation through her apprenticeship, as well as noting her commitment to the manufacturing sector as an ambassador for STEM (Science, Technology Engineering and Maths) careers and apprenticeships.

Based in Stokeley, North Yorkshire, the apprentice robot technician with Labman Automation has already scooped several national awards including the top accolade of the Best of British Engineering Award at the 2021 Enginuity Skills Awards.

Davina joined the MTC’s apprenticeship programme in September 2018 when she was battling severe mental health issues, including anxiety and depression. With the support of the team at MTC Apprenticeships, she has overcome her challenges and exceeded even her own expectations to become one of the training provider’s highest performing and most ambitious learners.

Meanwhile, Camila’s nomination celebrates her impressive contributions to her employer, Amazon, just two years into her role as a reliability maintenance engineering apprentice technician at their fulfilment centre in Hemel Hempstead, alongside her exceptional commitment and tenacious attitude to her own professional development.

After making the courageous decision to change careers to pursue her engineering passion in her mid 30s, Brazilian-born Camila is excelling in her apprenticeship. As well as studying in her second language, she is the first female technician on her site and often volunteers to work on pre-shift projects to maximise her exposure to new skills and techniques from her mentors.

The nomination also recognises her work to demystify engineering and encourage more girls and women from all backgrounds into the sector through initiatives including her role as vice-chair of the Women in Engineering Society’s (WES) Apprentice Board.

Both apprentices hope to use their achievement as a platform to inspire and encourage others in the manufacturing sector.

“I had to get a new set of UK qualifications just to be eligible to apply for my apprenticeship, so now I’m here I’m determined not to waste a single moment!” said Camila. “I want be a role model to inspire people to follow their passion, and to know that apprenticeships are an amazing opportunity for people of all ages and backgrounds.”

Currently completing the final stages of her apprenticeship, Davina said: “I’d love to win this award to show people that an apprenticeship can totally change your life. I hope my story inspires other people to believe in themselves and follow in my footsteps to fulfil their potential, especially other women who might be interested in a career in STEM.”

Both apprentices are trained by MTC Apprenticeships at the Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre in Coventry. The independent training provider is a champion of future skills, and aims to help close the UK’s STEM skills gap by giving new and existing engineers the expertise the industry needs, both today and tomorrow.

David Hughes MBE, managing director of MTC Apprenticeships, “We’re committed to supporting our employer partners to future-proof their workforces with the next generation of top talent. Davina and Camila are exemplary apprentices, demonstrating exceptional progress and determination in their own personal and professional journeys as well as being fantastic ambassadors for the MTC, their employers and the manufacturing sector as a whole. The recognition is well-deserved and we’re extremely proud of them.”

The annual Make UK Manufacturing Awards highlight the resilience, determination and ingenuity of the UK’s manufacturing community. Regional finals will be held across the country in October and November, before the overall winners are announced at the national awards ceremony in January 2022.