A HIGH-flying Airbus apprentice has scooped a prestigious national award.

Beth Pickering, 20, of Mynydd Isa, has been named Apprentice of the Year for Airbus UK.

She was presented with her award at a learning recognition event at Chester Racecourse on Friday by Penny Mallory, motoring journalist and presenter of ITV4’s The Used Car Roadshow.

Beth, who works in the quality control department at Broughton, said: “I’ve been given fantastic opportunities since joining Airbus on the apprenticeship programme.

"It’s been great to share my experiences with other girls and show them what a rewarding and worthwhile career it is.”

Beth is leading by example in encouraging more girls to take up a career in engineering, visiting local schools to talk to female students about her experiences at Airbus.

She added: “More girls are coming into the industry but we are still in the minority.

It’s important to get the message across about engineering and how it can offer all sorts of benefits.”

Since joining Airbus in 2006 as a craft apprentice after taking GCSEs at Argoed High School, Beth has gone on to join the Higher Engineering Apprenticeship programme and hopes to carry on her studies to achieve chartered engineer status.

She said: “Joining Airbus has opened up a new world for me.

“It’s great to be able to get on-the-job experience while you are studying and everyone at Airbus is really supportive. So while it’s hard work, it is also very rewarding.”