Limerick apprentice says more women should consider apprenticeships

Johnson & Johnson Visioncare apprentice Jodie Whyte from Muroe, Limerick inspires aspiring apprentices of successful paths with apprenticeship on the World Skills Heroes Stage at the RDS Dublin.

A LIMERICK woman who was nominated for the Apprentice of the Year award is encouraging other women to consider an apprenticeship.

Limerick woman Jodie Whyte, an apprentice at Johnson and Johnson Visioncare, was among over 200 nominees for the Apprentice of the Year Awards, which were announced on October 19.

Before taking part in her apprenticeship, Jodie was a qualified chef, but decided to undertake the trainee engineer apprenticeship with J&J.

Speaking on the Heroes Stage at the recent WorldSkills Ireland event at the RDS in Dublin, Jodie said that an apprenticeship is a fantastic way to change career and earn money while you’re learning.

“Apprenticeship has benefited me massively. I wanted a career change and the apprenticeship route provided a great option because not only are you being supported financially, but you are being supported by a whole company and you have a team of mentors behind you. I work with so many different individuals and they all have different skillsets.”

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She continued: “Not only am I doing a degree with my apprenticeship but I am also gaining industry experience that includes working in teams, being in meetings and in different business scenarios.”

“You grow as an individual. If you went to a university for an academic course, you may not get to know your lecturer, your lecturer may not even know your name, but with an apprenticeship, because the groups are a lot smaller, you just build stronger team and communication skills.”

“Your people skills massively improve and there is huge value in the self learning and awareness that grows,” Jodie added.

Jodie also stressed the importance of more women taking up apprenticeships and said that more women and girls need to be encouraged to consider a career in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths).

“We need to start from the youngest age and communicate the relevance of apprenticeship. The number of women in STEM is growing, together we need to celebrate the women of all backgrounds who are succeeding in STEM.”

“Anyone can be in STEM so long as you have the drive and the passion for it. It was so nice to see so many women speaking on ‘The Heroes Stage’. I feel like a lot of the women who spoke have similar stories from when they were in secondary school. We’re all trying to change attitudes and behaviours and encourage other women,” she concluded.