Bright spark Milly hopes to inspire others

A Dumfries and Galloway College student is hoping her success as an electrical engineering apprentice can spark other females to take the same path. 

Milly Smith, 19, from Castle Douglas, is studying for her Electrical Installation SVQ at the Dumfries campus under the SECTT (Scottish Electrical Charitable Training Trust) scheme — and she has excelled in the field, winning plaudits and praise every step of the way. 

Currently employed by family-owned McKerlie Electrical, headed by her father, Alan, Milly won the apprentice of the year in 2021/2022 at Dumfries and Galloway College as she faced stiff competition from 13 other students. 

However, that was just the start. After coming out on top at DGC, she then went on to achieve wider acclaim as the top first-year apprentice — firstly, in the west sector of colleges and then followed by winning the gold award nationally. 

Milly’s success and dedication is a real inspiration to other females looking for a career in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). 

She said: “During my school years I always really enjoyed Physics and Maths and was keen to go into a career in this field. 

“After spending time helping my dad in the family business, I decided this was the career I wanted to follow. I am really enjoying the daily challenge of working as an Electrical Apprentice and the fact that every day is different. 

“I was delighted to be awarded Scottish First Stage Apprentice of the Year 2022 and hope my success can inspire others to follow their own paths and not listen to others trying to steer them in other directions.” 

College Principal Joanna Campbell said: “Milly is a real credit to herself, her family and her vocation. She has shown that hard work pays off and is proving gender is no barrier to success in any field.”

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