SAMLESBURY BAE Systems apprentice turned first-class graduate Michelle Hook is one of the faces of a major TV campaign to get young people to ‘earn as they learn’.
The 23-year-old, who joined the firm at 18, joined as an apprentice and has just completed a degree in project management.
Now a fully-qualified engineer she is appearing in the government’s new ‘Get In, Go Far’ national apprentice advertising campaign broadcast on prime-time television.
She also features in the related nationwide poster campaign for the scheme showing vocational training is an exciting alternative to further education.
Michelle joined the firm’s apprenticeship scheme at Samlesbury and now splits her time between there and Warton helping with the production of the Typhoon fighter aircraft.
The campaign has been backed by Blackburn MP Jack Straw and East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce chief executive Mike Damms.
Michelle said : “I never expected it would turn into the campaign that is has.
“I was very daunted, but excited to be asked to take part - this sort of thing doesn’t come naturally. It rounded off the end to my apprenticeship perfectly.
“The filming experience itself was very surreal; I was sat in the Typhoon Final Assembly hangar surrounded by the fitters and engineers working on the aircraft, having my hair and make-up done by a professional make-up artist.
“I’ve only seen a brief view of the first cut but thought the advert as a whole looked amazing, and the section in which I feature looked really good.
“I was just delighted not to have tripped up on camera.”
Michelle, who lives in Freckleton, gained a first-class degree in a first-class honours degree in project management through Blackpool and Fylde College after deciding to bypass university.
She went straight to BAE Systems where she completed a five year apprenticeship including the graduate course.
The campaign runs until March 2015.
It was launched by Business Secretary Vince Cable on the set of ITV’s ‘Emmerdale’.
He said: “The new campaign features some great success stories which show exactly how far an apprenticeship can take you.”