Welcome to our First Female Welder/Fabricator

Published: 19 March 2019

Engineering apprentice Lucy Nicoll is making history by being the first female welder/fabricator at Sheffield Forgemasters.

The 16-year-old has started as a trainee welder/fabricator at Brightside Lane as one of 33 apprentices which make up our largest ever intake.

Apart from the years during the war, when women of steel took over from men in running the country's steel and engineering output as the men went to fight, heavy engineering has remained a male-dominated career path but we are working hard to change that.

Lucy said: “Gaining an apprenticeship at Sheffield Forgemasters is a fantastic opportunity for me. It’s such a historic company and I have been welcomed by everybody here.

“As the only girl who is working in welding and fabrication, I feel proud to be part of ongoing change at the company. Everyone is helpful and I do not feel any different from the other apprentices.”

Lucy is undertaking an apprenticeship in Fabrication and Welding at Level 3. Her training includes mastering sheet metalwork, plate work, fabrication and tungsten inert gas welding.

Lucy spends four days in the workplace and one day a week at The Sheffield College’s Stocksbridge training facility. She studied at UTC Sheffield City Centre where she completed a technical qualification in advanced engineering and manufacturing alongside GCSEs.

Rick Franckeiss, Group Training Manager at Sheffield Forgemasters, said: “We are delighted that Lucy has taken on an apprenticeship in welding and fabrication. As an equal opportunities employer, we are keen to encourage more females into an industry that across the world, has traditionally employed men.

“Our welders can go on to work on the most technically complex products imaginable, from defence related components to those used in civil nuclear power. Lucy is a great role model for future apprentices and shows that there is no reason why women cannot work in engineering roles."