Engineering.. Here Come The Girls!

23rd October 2013

BBC Radio Sheffield played host to a number of guests this morning in order to investigate why nationally there are only 7% of the engineering workforce that are female.

Presenter Nick Wilson spoke to Brinsworth Academy of Engineering Business Development Director, Paul Reeves and Kostal (UK) apprentice Zoe Baker. Zoe who is 19 and from Wath spoke about her own pathway into an engineering career, she told Nick how she had come under a fair amount of peer pressure to follow the more traditional routes such as hairdressing and beauty therapy. Zoe said -Lots of young people are under the impression that engineering is not an academic occupation but in my experience it has been very much about breaking down those barriers and proving that it can be a successful route for work based education. Nick Wilson asked what the solution was to get more females into engineering; Business Development Director Paul Reeves explained -We have got to get as many young people to see the opportunities within the engineering sector. It is important to see the skills that employers require being matched to a suitable individual regardless of whether they are male or female. The secret is to change perceptions, by introducing young people to organisations such as Kostal (UK) and showing them what impact engineering has on everyday life and the important role that young people can play in the future. The interview was scheduled to mark the launch of an initiative being championed by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) where MP's have been requested to sign a pledge to get more females into engineering. Paul Reeves added -We are in the process of developing a Girls Engineering and Manufacturing Skills (GEMS) programme and are hoping to secure funding from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) to facilitate this. Our aim is to encourage more girls to follow in the footsteps of ambassadors such as Zoe Baker and realise the potential within the sector. Kostal (UK) Ltd currently employ three female apprentice engineers; Imogen Stennett Age 17, Zoe Baker age 19 and Jade Hickling age 20 all completed their training at Brinsworth Academy of Engineering. If you are a female looking to enter into the engineering sector contact Brinsworth Academy of Engineering on 01709 389520. Image: Imogen Stennett Age 17 (left), Zoe Baker age 19, Jade Hickling age 20 (right)

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