Samantha Engineers Apprenticeship Success


A female student has beaten all the males on her course by winning an apprenticeship with a leading north east engineering firm.

Samantha Johnson, 18, had an interview for her apprenticeship while studying for a Level 2 qualification in Performing Engineering Operations at Derwentside College.

Samantha said: “I’m the only female in an engineering class of 20 and I’ve managed to beat off stiff competition to secure an apprenticeship position with Pinnacle Re-Tec in Consett.

“Engineering is a very male-dominated industry so I was thrilled to learn I’d been offered the apprenticeship based on my skills. I started an Advanced Apprenticeship in Mechanical Manufacturing Engineering at the beginning of July and I’m really enjoying gaining real-life work experience whilst honing my skills.

Simon Howard, Operations Manager from Pinnacle Re-Tec, said: “To ensure our standing in the global market place, we look to select our employees from the local community, tapping into a pool of Engineering talent supported by Derwentside College. In the interview Samantha demonstrated a passion and genuine talent for engineering.  Her skills are fantastic and made her a cut above the rest. We were impressed with her CV and how thoroughly prepared she was for the interview.  Samantha is a great asset to Derwentside College and the Pinnacle Re-Tec team and I’m confident she has a promising future ahead of her.”  

Susan Errington, Executive Director of Business Development at Derwentside College, added: “Samantha is a fantastic ambassador for the College and is committed in her efforts to promoting engineering as a career for young women. Women have traditionally been under-represented in the field of engineering but with talented students like Samantha, we can work towards encouraging more women to think of engineering as a rewarding career, helping to strike the right gender balance in the industry.”

As of February this year, only 7% of the UK engineering workforce was female and just 3.4% of Engineering and Manufacturing Apprentices were female.

Employed alongside Samantha, Pinnacle Re-Tec have also welcomed a second apprentice from Derwentside College. Adam Panting successfully secured his place within Pinnacle Re-Tec after presenting himself superbly at interview. 


Derwentside College provides an impressive learning environment for a wide range of vocational courses for young people aged from 14+, as well as adults returning to education. It has excellent success rates and attracts students from a wide geographic area from Berwick in the North, to Leeds in the South and Carlisle in the West.