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Audio Accounts of Young Steel Workers

Age: How Old Was I When I Started Work


"Hi my name is Johnny. I’m an apprentice electrician in the Melting shop. I’m 19, I started work at Forge masters around about six months ago, October 2007."

Two young steelworkers wearing  protective hats.
Young Steelworkers in the 2000s



"I left school at 15 and I started here on this site, January the first 1956."

Three Engineer Apprentices at work at Brown Bailey Steelworks in the 1950s.  Black and white photo shows three men at  a work bench.
Engineer Apprentices at Brown Bailey Steelworks in the 1950s.

Victorian Times

"I, Mr J E White, found that the youngest working children are to be found to be making cutlery. Girls as well as boys sometimes begin at seven and even six years old and one boy who I found at work had begun at five."


A group photograph of steel company workers from Victorian times.
Steel Company Workers From Victorian Times.



  • How has the age for starting in the industry changed?
  • Why do you think the starting age has changed?
  • What do you think is the right age for becoming a steel worker apprentice?