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Lewanda Chappell

Lewanda works at Airco Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Ltd as an apprentice engineer, maintaining, servicing and installing air-conditioning units, cold rooms and chillers.

Lewanda Chappell

As she enjoys hands-on work and problem solving, she looked for an apprenticeship in the engineering sector after finishing school. When she came across the eight-month Study Programme at Airco Centre of Excellence, she knew it was the perfect chance for her to begin her career in engineering.

“I was always better at practical subjects at school, such as textiles and art, which is why I considered an apprenticeship. The academic route didn’t appeal to me – I wanted to do something hands-on. I enjoy problem solving so I particularly like the jobs I do at Airco that involve investigating and diagnosing faults. Because we carry out work within the plumbing, renewables and electrical sectors, I get to build up my knowledge in different areas.

“Myself and other female engineers in the area have been a big part of the WiME initiative and we get involved in regular events to encourage other women to consider engineering. I speak to lots of young women at the point of choosing a career path. So many want to be a model or an actress and never even think about engineer as a potential job role.

"I think engineering should be pushed as a realistic career option at an earlier age and encouraged throughout school. WiME has given me the opportunity to show young women like me that anyone can be an engineer.”