AN APPRENTICE at AWE met with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in Whitehall at a special reception to mark National Apprenticeship Week.

The event was also designed to support and celebrate women working in the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

Samantha McRae, 21, who has been an apprentice at AWE for more than three years, said: “I felt absolutely honoured to be invited to such an amazing event. I never thought I would be going to something like this.

“The AWE apprenticeship scheme has given me real-life skills and knowledge with the future of a great job.

“I realised that I hadn’t done well enough in my AS Levels and wanted to do something that was hands-on. That’s why I decided to apply for the AWE scheme.

“I wanted a job with a great career path and it ticked all the boxes for me. Now three-and-a-half-years on I couldn’t be happier.”

Claire Watson, AWE’s head of learning and development, also attended the event and said: “AWE is very committed to supporting the development of the UK skills base in the area of STEM, in particular how we tap into the unrealized potential that women bring to STEM.”

Female pupils from across the country were also invited to the event to hear from Samantha and other young women who have embarked on the apprenticeship career route.

Mr Clegg said: “National Apprenticeship Week gives us a good opportunity to celebrate the fantastic contribution apprentices make to our society.

“That is why I was pleased to host a reception to celebrate women in STEM and encourage more girls to look at apprenticeships in this area.”