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Phoebe wins trio of apprentice awards

8 March 2019
An apprentice from HMNB Devonport has won three top apprenticeship awards from across the UK and is looking ahead to a bright future.

Phoebe Loveridge, from Plymouth, picked up gold at the 2018 Ministry of Defence Apprentice of the Year Awards and Apprentice of the Year with the Institute of Technology as well as Bridgewater and Taunton College.

Taking it all in her stride, the 21-year-old always had an interest in the Armed Forces although she never dreamed the path it would take her on.

She was a member of the Royal Marine Cadets in the city and reached the rank of Colour Sergeant, before choosing to follow an engineering career and working on some of the most challenging engineering projects in Devonport.

There's opportunities to move across the MOD, you could be working on aircraft, military vehicles, with the surface fleet or as with me, on submarines and that's where my role is.

Phoebe Loveridge

“I really enjoyed science and maths so when I got onto the Defence Equipment and Support Advanced Engineering Management Apprenticeship scheme, it put me firmly down the engineering route.

“The scheme was based in Devonport and Abbey Wood in Bristol, 13 of us started here and more than 70 across the two sites. The apprenticeships are increasing and Devonport is set to increase its numbers year-on-year.

“My apprenticeship was over three years. The first was college-based and involved a B-Tech Level 3 qualification in engineering and performing engineering operations. Then in the second year I started my placements. I did three over two years, six months initially, then two that were three months.

“In between I did a Higher National Certificate in marine engineering in a block - it was one of the hardest parts. I did it in 16 weeks and that’s quite stressful to complete in the time.”

Phoebe’s experiences as an apprentice in Devonport, and now where she works, has given her a lot of confidence. She is very proud of her status as the MoD Apprentice of the Year.

With it comes recognition and responsibility and she hopes others will see what comes from the hard work she has applied during her engineering training.

She added: "The scheme is upping its intake and that's a good move, it's good to have more apprentices in the dockyard. There are opportunities to move across the MoD - you could be working on aircraft, military vehicles, with the surface fleet or as with me, on submarines and that's where my role is."

There is also a scheme to deploy, wherever the business need is. Apprentices work all over the dockyard in Devonport whether with the Royal Marines on their landing craft or in naval base security.

The apprentices are also encouraged to get involved in the community and Phoebe made good use of the opportunity along with her group of apprentices.

"I got involved with several local STEM and community projects, as well as attending career events at schools representing the DE&S Apprenticeship scheme," she said.

“I was lucky enough to take part in a six-week programme with Widewell Primary School Year 6 pupils where we designed and made small-scale model vehicles to carry nuclear waste. I also completed a school project at Drake Primary converting an overgrown green area into an outdoor learning area.

“Within this project I designed and made a bug hotel made up of different materials to allow for a range of species to live in.

“My next step now is progression; I’m being funded to do a foundation degree in naval architecture.

“I started that in September and I've got another year-and-a-half left. It’s exciting to see where that takes me, and I’ve currently applying for the next level up in my role.” 

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