SERC apprentice Rebecca is blazing a trail in Fire & Security Systems course

Telling your daughter, she can do anything she wants if she puts her mind to it, seems to have been sound advice for Rebecca Wilson, who is blazing a trail for herself in the Fire and Security sector.
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Rebecca, (18), from Dromore, a South Eastern Regional College (SERC) apprentice on the Level 3 Fire & Security Systems and employed by Digital Fire and Security in Lisburn, said: “I knew I would go for an apprenticeship after my GCSEs as the A-Levels followed by university didn’t appeal to me.

"My main decision was which trade to follow. My dad is a spark – electrician – and he encouraged me to look at all my options.

"I came along to an open day at SERC’s Lisburn Campus and found out about a few apprenticeships, but the fire and security systems apprenticeship appealed to me most.

SERC apprentice Rebecca Wilson is encouraging others to find out more about apprenticeships. Pic credit: SERCSERC apprentice Rebecca Wilson is encouraging others to find out more about apprenticeships. Pic credit: SERC
SERC apprentice Rebecca Wilson is encouraging others to find out more about apprenticeships. Pic credit: SERC

"So I secured employment and applied for the apprenticeship. I am now in the second year.”

The rugby mad teenager, who has played for Ballynahinch Rugby Club, continued: “It is still a bit unusual to be a female working in this sector, but I think that is changing as others realise the opportunities in this specialised and very professional industry.

"There is another female first year apprentice where I work.

"I am lucky in that there are plenty of people in my family who work in different trades – from electrical to joinery – who are all supportive of my choice. Being female didn’t even come into it.”

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She added: “Coming to SERC one day a week is great. On that day, we are consolidating our learning on the job with all the theory so there is time to clarify anything you are covering that you are not sure about.

"You also get to meet other apprentices who are with different organisations and hear about the kind of work they are doing. There is a bit of craic too, but we are all there to learn.”

Rebecca concluded: “I would encourage other females to consider the apprenticeship route and the fire and security sector.

"My experience has been great.”

Would-be apprentices are invited to SERC’s Apprenticeships - All You Need to Know sessions 4.30pm – 7.00pm on Tuesday February 6 (Bangor and Newtownards Campuses) and Thursday February 8 (Downpatrick and Lisburn Campuses) during Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Week, which runs from February 5-9, 2024.