Clydeport welcomes first female apprentice in its history

10 October 2022

In a drive to encourage more women into the maritime industry, Peel Ports Clydeport has welcomed its first-ever female electrical engineer apprentice onto its team.

Caitlin McGrory, a 19-year-old from Glasgow, started her 4-year apprenticeship with the port operator in August.

This appointment is a step forward for the port operator as it seeks to encourage more females to apply for roles in the maritime industry. Engineering is one of many rewarding career opportunities available in ports, and it is hoped this new apprenticeship will inspire others to explore a future in this sector.

Caitlin is studying a Higher National Certificate (HNC) in engineering systems as well as a Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ).

As an apprentice electrical engineer at Peel Ports, Cailin's role involves fixing and maintaining port equipment such as Ship to Shore Gantry Cranes (STS) and eventually moving onto high voltage training and working with Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) systems.

Caitlin said: "I find the engineering field really interesting, and my time at Peel Ports has shown me the diverse and exciting range of jobs within the maritime sector which are open for everyone, regardless of gender”.

Now nearly 3 months into her apprenticeship, she is glad she took the step to break into a male-dominated industry.

"I really enjoy life on-site and learning from qualified members of the team" she says. "Throughout school, I was always more interested in things such as physics and design and manufacturing (D&M), and I had hit a stump about what I wanted to do once I left school. My design and manufacturing teacher recommended that I look into engineering as a career as I enjoyed D&M and physics. I found I was extremely interested, and I continued from there, doing an HNC in electrical engineering and applying for an apprenticeship.”

“Although engineering is (at the moment) a field generally dominated by men, it is not one that only men can do. As long as you’re not afraid to get your hands a little dirty, you definitely won’t regret taking a jump into the field, as no day is the same.”

Caitlin's mentor, engineering manager John Campbell, is delighted with his new recruit. He said: "It has been a privilege teaching all of our apprentices about the work we do here at our site."

"Caitlin is proof that this job is for anyone interested in engineering, and we hope her story inspires more women to consider a career in engineering and the maritime sector."

Caitlin’s advice to young people finishing education and considering apprenticeships? "If it's what you want to do, go for it. Apprenticeships give you the experience that a lot of people earning their degree through university will lack, this will make you a well-rounded candidate once you have completed your apprenticeship.”