This Women in Engineering day, an ex-Burnley FC star who joined British Gas as an apprentice explains why the career move was the best decision she ever made.

Jessica Rawstron played for Burnley FC Women's first team before she decided to take a shot at becoming a gas engineer.

Confident in her abilities, she was slightly disheartened when the academic style of learning didn’t suit her personality.

The ex-Claret explained that, like many young women, she felt under pressure to go to university and hadn’t really contemplated other routes.

After taking inspiration from her dad to work in a STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) career, Jess joined the British Gas apprenticeship scheme in 2020 when she was halfway through a civil engineering degree.

Jess has been a Smart Engineer with British Gas since April 2021, since completing her apprenticeship.

In support of International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) on June 23, Jess is eager to share her story and encourage young women and girls to break into STEM as 2021 figures indicate in the UK only 16.5 per cent of engineers were women.

The British Gas apprenticeship helped launch her career as a solo engineer where she installs and replaces smart meters in customers’ homes, as well as advises people on how to optimise their energy usage.

British Gas recently pledged to create 3,500 apprenticeships over the next decade, with 600 roles in the North West and aims for half of all new recruits to be women.