Case study

Dstl case study - Alice, Electronics Maintenance Apprentice

Alice is a second year Electronics Maintenance Apprentice at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory


“I decided to do an apprenticeship rather than go to university as I could get paid to learn and I knew that it would include hands-on practical work. I chose the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) as its work covers such a variety of engineering types, so I could experience lots of different kinds.

As a second year Electronics Maintenance Apprentice, I’ve split my time between the QinetiQ Apprenticeship Training School and 2 placements around the different Dstl sites. The first placement was at Fort Halstead in the Electronic Counter Measures Group, where I was given the opportunity to design and make a surface mount board and test equipment for a future trial. For my second placement, I was in the Naval Systems Group and got to go to Plymouth to take off and put on equipment on submarines.

When selecting my GCSE and A Level subjects at school, I chose ones that I found interesting and played to my strengths. I did maths, physics and music for A Levels. In my year group, I was the only girl to choose physics; however, this wasn’t a problem at all and I sometimes found I had a different approach to problems than the boys did. If you are a girl considering a doing a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) career in the future, don’t be put off by entering a male-dominated profession!”

Published 22 June 2017