Women in Engineering Award Winning Apprentice

To celebrate International Women in Engineering Day, we interviewed Abbiegail Hill, our award winning Junior Design Engineer Apprentice from our Metframe division. Abbiegail is currently studying an NVQ Level 3 Extended Diploma in Engineering Technical Support whilst on the Level 3 Apprenticeship in Construction and The Built Environment.


“I chose Metsec because of its excellent reputation for training and the career opportunities that are available.”


“I joined Metsec from school in March 2018. I had completed my GCSEs and attained good grades, but I knew that I didn’t want to continue in full-time academic education. I wanted to get out into the real world and gain some work experience.

The voestalpine Metsec apprenticeship scheme was the perfect opportunity for me. The company is local to where I live and has a really good reputation for getting involved in the community and giving young people a chance to develop and pursue a career, starting with an apprenticeship. Plus, there was the bonus of being able to earn money at the same time as I was learning.

The company has five divisions and I started in Structural Steel Framing (SFS). In addition to learning skills that are specific to the division, such as doing wind analysis on buildings, I was taught things that would help in other areas of the business, including how to create, measure and read design drawings.

I then started to create different design specifications for both infill walling and load bearing systems on my own. This made me feel like I was a valued member of a team helping to provide solutions for our customers.

After a year or so at SFS, I moved to Metframe, which designs and manufactures pre-panelised light gauge steel framing system that are used on a lot of hotels, apartment blocks and student accommodation buildings. Here, I am learning to create design indicatives for large buildings, deciding which steel sections go where and how to make the whole structure work.

I love creating the designs for buildings and learning new things; how to calculate loads on walls, how to design a beam and how Metsec components fit together to create the structure of an entire building. When I see these buildings in the street, I look at them knowing how they are put together and it gives me a great feeling to know that one day, one of those buildings will be all my own work – with a little bit of help from the rest of the Metsec team, of course!

I’m constantly learning new things and there’s always a training course of one sort or another to go on. So far, I have learned about metallurgy, Revit, BIM, panel building, product installation, column design and loads of other things

At the same time, as learning the skills required to do my job, I have also been discovering how each division works and how voestalpine Metsec as a whole operates, which has helped me to see how I fit into the business now and what opportunities lie ahead for me in the future.

My ambition is to work my way up to senior design engineer or office manager in the next ten years. After that, I’d like to become a director at voestalpine Metsec!”

Find out more about our construction and engineering apprenticeships.