"As an employer I feel it’s a two way street. I invest my time into Donna’s learning by providing her with professional skills to obtain her Apprenticeship and in return Donna comes up with brilliant and more modern ideas. So we can always learn something new together." – Malcom Morgan, Employer

Meet Donna Frary - from an early age Donna has always shown a keen interest in the way things worked.  Rather than spending time playing with Barbie dolls, Donna was fixing lawn mowers in the garden shed!  Since Donna has left school she has enrolled onto an Apprenticeship to become a mechanic doing her Level 2 Motor Vehicles with M Morgan, Motor Engineer Ltd in Foulsham, Norfolk.

Here Donna gives details of her experience as an apprentice, how she has broadened her skill set and offers advice to anyone considering an Apprenticeship.

How did you find out about the Apprenticeship? I had heard about Apprenticeships when I was at school but it wasn’t until I started researching about them did I actually realise how much they could offer me. When it came to looking for an Apprenticeship – I was nervous about asking as I thought they would reject me because of my gender. I expected that they thought I wouldn’t be up for the challenge, but I knew if I was given the chance I would get stuck in and would stick to it. I was determined so I went in search of further information. The careers advisor at school helped me with my CV and the school helped me find out about opportunities available in the King’s Lynn area. After looking into college courses I realised they weren’t for me, but it gave me the confidence to start looking for myself. Through connections with family and friends I met Malcom Morgan (my employer) and as he had an apprentice previously he was willing to meet me and give me a chance with his company.

What made you decide to complete an Apprenticeship rather than the traditional college route? I wanted to do the Apprenticeship because I wanted to get stuck in straight way. I liked the idea of turning up for work and there being a surprise of something new to do every day. This allows me to think on my feet and learn on the job. I felt I would be able to pick up tasks quicker and if I’m ever stuck I can speak to my colleagues who are experienced professionals and find out what the problem is so we can solve it together. Because I’m not in a big class of other students, this allows me to have 1-2-1 time to have tasks explained to develop my learning.

What have you learnt? I have only been in my Apprenticeship since August this year but it has already reaffirmed that this is what I really want to do. I feel it’s given me a more realistic view of what working in a garage and this environment is like. This has allowed me to really think about my future plans. I’m determined to be a qualified mechanic and, who knows, one day I might even have my own garage with my very own apprentice!

What advice would you give to future apprentices? I would encourage other young women and men to go for the opportunity. I feel it has given me problem solving skills and improved my memory. I feel by doing this Apprenticeship it has given me more confidence and determination to achieve my full potential.

Next Steps:

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Written by Jessica Whyte