A 21-year-old civil engineering apprentice has shared her dream of inspiring more young people to look beyond university.

Former Dixons Trinity Academy pupil Alisa Ahmad is working across West Yorkshire on anything from park and ride schemes to flood alleviation projects.

She is among the 16.5 per cent of women currently working in the UK’s engineering industry – but that’s a figure she wants to change.

Alisa originally planned to study law at university, but it was an impulse application for Bam Nuttall’s degree apprenticeship scheme in Leeds that set her on a new career path.

Speaking to the Telegraph & Argus, she said: “I applied through UCAS originally and I was so close to doing law.

“I started to get a lot of anxiety.

“When you’re young you do struggle what career to path to take.

“I didn’t even know much about apprenticeships. My teacher told me there was an apprenticeship doing civil engineering. I ended up getting the job.

“I thought it was last resort, ‘if you can’t get into university you do it’.

“People think university and that’s it. You don’t get that university experience but it sets you in a good mindset. You’re not going to be doing partying in real life.

“I’m embarrassed to admit it but I believed the stigma as well. Since I’ve been part of the degree apprenticeship I’ve just promoted them non stop.”

She added: “Putting it into practice really helps.

“If you compare me to someone who’s graduated, I’ll already have three or four years experience.”

Alisa is half way through her five year long degree apprenticeship with a guaranteed job waiting for her at the end.

She has been part of the £29 million Stourton Park & Ride scheme, the estimated £4 million extension of Temple Green Park and Ride scheme, and estimated £6 million Elland Road Park and Ride.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Elland Road park and ride. Picture: Google StreetviewElland Road park and ride. Picture: Google Streetview

Alisa said: “I enjoy being a part of something that’s going to last forever or as long as it will, like a car park. It’s like a legacy.

“Everyday is always different. I don’t want to be stuck behind a desk.

“I’m a female but I’m also Pakistani. I’ve only ever worked with one female, never any person of colour. It’s grown but I’d like to make it even more diverse.  

“You can be in the office creating drawings, you can be part of the Environment Agency where you can inspect sites.

“I hope to inspire people with civil engineering.”

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