Susie shares how apprenticeships can help give on-the-job experience, solving problems to save lives at sea
Hello. My name's Susie Webber. I am a Senior Naval Architect at the RNLI.
When I was at school, I was really good at maths and solving problems.
I really enjoyed design and technology, but I was never really good at the sort of academic side, like English or writing because I'm dyslexic. So I found that this sort of problem solving on the maths side of things really interested me.
I went to a careers day and explained what I really liked and what I didn't, and they said well, you sound like you sound like an engineer because you sound like you really enjoy solving problems.
I was a sailor, so I thought, right - I like solving problems, I could be an engineer and I could go into designing boats and fixing boats. And that's kind of how I ended up here.
I think nowadays, university isn't necessarily the only way in. I think it's really important to appreciate that apprenticeships and work experience and all of those avenues are actually just as valuable as going to university.
You can learn so many more on the job skills. You don't necessarily have to have a degree certificate to make a way in this world.
I think having children myself, I'm not sure I would necessarily divert them down the university route every time.
I think university has a place for the more academic side of the industry, but if you really enjoyed being a boat builder or a graphic designer, sometimes the apprenticeship is much better.
I get to work on so many things and I think the beauty about working here is that you're exposed to so many great projects and tasks because the work that we do is so wide and varied.
One of the things I do is I work in the whole body vibration project, and we are invested in trying to keep our crew safe, trying to make sure that they turn up fit and able to do their job.
So one of the things we're working on at the moment is improving the D class mattress. It's a small bit of foam at the moment and we're trying to get some shock mitigating technology inside that foam to help reduce some of the shocks on the body, which means that they can turn up to save lives at sea, feeling a little bit more refreshed and a little bit less achy.
In any job, there are good days and bad days. I think the thing that keeps us all coming back for more here is to know that you're making a real difference.
The thing that's always at the forefront of my mind when I'm doing anything here is that I'm keeping those people that are willing to get out of their beds in the middle of the night - I want to make sure that they're safe and that they can get home to their families.
So it keeps me coming back and it keeps me doing the best I can do.