Let's hear it for the girls! International Women in Engineering Day, 23rd June 2017
Today (23rd June) is International Women in Engineering Day, which takes place annually in June to raise the profile of women in engineering and focus attention on the incredible careeropportunities available to young women in this exciting industry.
We have three amazing young female Engineering Apprentices working with us as Apprenticeship Ambassadors, helping to raise awareness of both Engineering and Apprenticeships by sharing their experiences with school students as they consider their career options. Find out how Katherine, Jade and Kelly are going the extra mile to raise awareness of what they do and why Engineering is so great…
Katherine is a Mechanical Engineering Apprentice with the Science & Technology Facilities Council’s Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. She started her Apprenticeship in September 2015 after completing GCSEs at Burford School.
The opportunity to work abroad as part of her Apprenticeship appealed to Katherine, as did the chance to gain work experience through working on exciting projects in a variety of placements across the site, experiencing different environments and learning from expert colleagues. Katherine is currently gaining practical knowledge and hand skills - such as machining and welding - through an NVQ Level 3, whilst also developing her academic knowledge through a BTEC Level 3. She plans to start an HNC in September.
As an Apprenticeship Ambassador, Katherine has given talks at her former school and attended careers events across the county to help raise awareness of the opportunities to gain higher level qualifications and invaluable work experience that an Engineering Apprenticeship can offer.
Katherine’s advice for other young women considering a career in engineering is: “Never stop believing that you can do engineering and go and see/look around some engineering places to get an idea of what it is all about. Never let just one person put you off a career in engineering as their experiences may be nothing like yours.”
Read more about Katherine.
Jade is the first female Electrical Engineering Apprentice at Lucy Electric in Thame. Since starting her Apprenticeship in September 2013, Jade has completed a variety of placements across the company, getting involved in lots of hands-on work, such as testing and building units and computer aided design. She also has the opportunity to observe more experienced colleagues to gain knowledge and learn from watching the way they do things.
In addition to working towards her Apprenticeship, Jade has also recently completed a foundation degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Abingdon & Witney College. She plans to start a BSc in Electronic Engineering at Oxford Brookes in September. Jade is setting a fantastic example to other young women, which was recognised in March this year when she won the Freemen of Oxford Apprentice of the Year Award, having also won the Award for Electrical Engineering in 2016.
As an Apprenticeship Ambassador, Jade recently attended a careers fair at her former school, St Gregory The Great Catholic School in Oxford, to share her experiences with students. She enjoyed meeting her former teachers and telling them about her achievements too.
Jade says: “If young women think they might be interested in engineering I would say try it and not let the fact that it is a male dominated profession put them off.”
Read more about Jade.
Kelly is a Maintenance Engineering Apprentice with BMW MINI Plant Oxford. Whilst still at school, she took part in the Girls Go Technical programme, which invites young women to spend October half term week experiencing the day to day challenges encountered by BMW engineers and Technical Apprentices at MINI Plant Oxford. The experience confirmed for Kelly that she wanted to pursue a career in engineering with BMW and she joined the firm after completing her GCSEs.
Since starting her Apprenticeship, Kelly has gained a huge array of the practical engineering skills required to become a successful engineer, such as milling, turning and PLC programming. In addition, she has also gained many of the ‘soft skills’ that employers value so highly, such as communication, time management and organisational skills.
As an Apprenticeship Ambassador, Kelly is encouraging young people to fully consider all their career choices. She says: “When making the decision that determines your future, ensure that you have weighed up all of your options fully and do not allow your opinions to be influenced by other people.”
Read more about Kelly.
It’s fantastic to see such amazing and successful female Engineering Apprentices encouraging other young women in Oxfordshire to consider a career in Engineering. What wonderful role models!
Find out more about National Women in Engineering Day at: www.nwed.org.uk and join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #NWED2017.