SHE is a woman in something of a man’s world.
But St Annes engineer Rachael Carr is certainly out to prove she is top of her game as she has been chosen to represent the UK in an international manufacturing competition.
Rachael and her fellow team members from BAE Systems, Warton, will take part in the manufacturing team challenge at WorldSkills 2011, in London in October.
The competition will be the biggest event to be held in London before the Olympic Games and is the world’s largest international skills competition.
People from across the globe compete to be the “best of the best” in their chosen skill – there will be more than 1,000 competitors from 50 countries.
Rachael, who was BAE System’s Apprentice of the Year, said: “It is fantastic to have been selected. A huge honour.
“Obviously it looks good on your CV and it’s great to represent your country doing something you enjoy.
“It’s the first time the UK has had a team in the manufacturing event since 2003, so it’s great.
“I’m a little bit nervous about it, but it’s just such a great opportunity.
“I know the next few months will be tough as I will be training for the event and I really hope people will get behind Team UK, just like they do with our sporting teams.”
Rachael applied to be an apprentice at BAE after doing a BTEC national diploma at college, and decided engineering was something she was very much interested in.
The 23-year-old said: “I just wanted to do something different, something which involved a challenge.
“Every day is different and the work is varied.
“I can be working on aviation fuel systems one day, seat ejector systems another day.
“I know a lot of people probably don’t see engineering as a job for a woman, but it really is a job for anybody.
“I really hope I can help encourage more people to do apprenticeships and more women to get into engineering. There are more starting to come through now. But it is mostly male-dominated.
“I like working with my male colleagues and there is definitely some good banter going on, we do have a good laugh.
“I hope the competition will help raise the profile of manufacturing overall.”
To qualify for the global event, Rachael and her team-mates who also work at BAE – Kai Burkitt from Stockport and Sam Andrews, from Preston – had to win the UK competition, by building a mini-motorbike, including compiling the detailed designs and all processes through to assembly.
The trio have already visited Buckingham Palace to be congratulated by Prince Andrew, Duke of York, on their achievements.
At WorldSkills London 2011, Team UK will take part in 37 skills ranging from mobile robotics, electrical installation and graphic design to cooking, hairdressing, landscape gardening and manufacturing.
The event takes place every two years and around 150,000 people are expected to attend.
Visitors can learn about how skills shape the world and get chance to have a go at a wide range of activities.