Apprentice Chrystalla seeking to become an engineering role model
Engineering apprentice Chrystalla Moreton wants to become a role model for women in the steel industry and is described as a “shining star” by her employer.
Chrystalla, 20, from Fairwater, Cardiff, is employed by reinforced steel manufacturer Celsa Steel in the city where she is working towards an Mechanical Engineering Apprenticeship in Production Services delivered by training provider TSW.
She had to revise her original plan to join the Army following a family tragedy, which took its toll on her mental health and she ended up doing bar work.
Now Chrystalla has been shortlisted for the Tomorrow’s Talent Award at the prestigious Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2022. The winners will be announced at a virtual awards ceremony on November 10.
The awards highlight the outstanding achievements, during unprecedented times, of employers, apprentices and work-based learning practitioners.
Highlight of the year for apprentices, employers and work-based learning providers and practitioners, the awards are organised by the Welsh Government and supported by the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW). Headline sponsor for the third year is Openreach.
Making up for lost time, Chrystalla is determined to fly the flag for female engineers and continue supporting her siblings. Following a successful online interview with Celsa Steel, she was invited to visit the company and loved what she saw.
“Going on site and seeing what I was getting myself into was intriguing,” said Chrystalla. “I immediately saw it as a new adventure that I wanted to explore and I have shocked myself at how well I am doing.
“After being at the lowest point in my life, this is a massive turnaround. I want to make something of myself by being the best that I can be in the sector and show women that they can do just as well as men.
“If someone says I can’t do something, I am determined to prove them wrong. I also want to show people who are going through a tough time, just like I did, that there is light at the end of the tunnel.”
Celsa Steel, which employs 70 apprentices, was impressed by Chrystalla from the outset.
Using the 1987 Pinscreen toy as her inspiration, she has raised the idea of reinventing and computerising a magnet flatbed at Celsa Steel to make transporting different shapes and sizes of metal bar more efficient and successful.
“This type of problem-solving is something we expect from third and fourth-year engineering apprentices,” said Terry Collier, the company’s apprenticeship manager, “Chrystalla is bold and innovative, even at this early stage in her career, showing initiative and getting hands-on with the materials and machinery.
“She is one of the shining stars in her class, but still one of the team. It’s a privilege to work with her and see her succeed.”
Amanda Bathory-Griffiths, TSW’s head of marketing, said: “Chrystalla has been thrown curveballs in her young life, but she’s never been distracted or dissuaded from her ambitions.”
Economy Minister Vaughan Gething congratulated Chrystalla and all the other shortlisted finalists. “Apprenticeships make a huge contribution to our economy and will be crucial as Wales continues to bounce back from the pandemic,” he said.
“They can help futureproof, motivate and diversify a workforce, offering people the chance to gain high-quality vocational skills.
“As part of our Young Person’s Guarantee, the Welsh Government will be investing £366 million over the next three years to deliver 125,000 all-age apprenticeships across Wales during the current term of government.
“We want to increase opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to develop transferable skills in the workplace and improve their lives. The investment will also help tackle skills shortages and gaps in priority sectors critical to drive productivity and economic growth, supporting our net zero ambitions, the every-day foundational economy and public services.”
The Apprenticeship Programme is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund. For more information about recruiting an apprentice, visit: gov.wales/apprenticeships-genius-decision or phone 03000 603000.