Warm welcome for women: Manufacturing and engineering opportunities outlined

By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 5 Oct 2017

NORTHERN Lincolnshire women are being invited to discover job opportunities in the manufacturing and engineering sectors at a special event being held in Scunthorpe.

Women into Manufacturing and Engineering (WiME), which is supported by the Regional Growth Fund, was created in 2016 to encourage females to choose a career in these industries. 

Following the huge success of its first year, the next event is being held on Saturday, October 21 at Humber UTC.

It is the first time it has been held on the South Bank, having been brought forward by Green Port Hull. 

The WiME careers day will be a chance to meet women already working in these sectors, find out about current vacancies, discover what training and qualifications are needed, and learn about apprenticeship opportunities. 

More than a dozen companies, including British Steel, Two Sisters Food Group, BP, Dong Energy and EDF Energy are supporting the initiative.

Kirsty Clode, chair of WiME, said: “Although manufacturing, engineering and renewables in the Humber region are going from strength to strength, there is an ongoing issue of gender balance within these fields. Just 9 per cent of the UK engineering workforce and 6 per cent of registered engineers and technicians are female.

Chloe Barnett“Our first events had real impact – eight women have been recruited through the scheme and WiME now has the support of 21 major employers from across the Humber region. We are looking to generate even more interest from across the wider Humber region, so we are thrilled to be holding our first event on the South Bank. We hope lots of women and girls from the area will drop in to find out what careers in engineering and manufacturing are all about.”

Women can talk directly to representatives from companies and their female employees about how to get into this exciting and growing sector of the local economy. There will also be an opportunity to get hands-on with engineering equipment, and up to 100 attendees will be able to ride on a steam train to look around British Steel’s Scunthorpe manufacturing facility. 

Tim Rix, chair of the Green Port Growth Programme Board, said: “Not only is the initiative proving a success with women, but it’s also providing a new route to recruitment for employers in the region, and promoting the variety of exciting careers and prospects in manufacturing and engineering.”

Early beneficieries of the scheme are keen to encourage others too.

Abbie Cheater, 19, from Cleethorpes, has secured an apprentice manufacturing engineer position at Swift Leisure in East Yorkshire as a result of the initiative. The former Franklin College student is combining the role with a course at Humberside Engineering Training Association’s Stallingborough site.

She said: “I didn’t want to go to university, I wanted to learn on the job. The WiME careers day was amazing, I loved how it was organised so you got a chance to speak to women from a variety of different companies. I took away lots of information and email addresses and when the team at Swift invited me in for a look around with regard to a potential placement I was thrilled. I started at Easter, just a few short weeks after the WiME event.

 “My advice to girls like me who are thinking about a career in engineering is don’t shy away or be intimidated by the number of men in the industry. Look into things properly - there are so many different routes and you can find out the one that suits you the best.” 

Chloe Barnett, 18, from Scunthorpe, was told about WiME by her father. She said: "Working at Siemens, my dad heard about the first WiME event through a few colleagues who were going along to do presentations. He encouraged me to go along, as Siemens strives to recruit more female employees. At the time, I was coming to the end of an apprenticeship in customer services and fancied a career that was more physical and hands-on.

"The WiME event really opened my eyes to the types of roles that are out there. Although I had an idea about what Siemens does, it was great to have the different roles explained in more detail. I was also given the opportunity to see and feel the fibreglass and moulds that are used to create turbine blades. I thought they’d be heavy and dirty, but they’re actually the opposite.

"After my apprenticeship came to an end, I applied for a role and was fortunate to be taken on as a packing operative. I’m really enjoying learning something new."

To register for the WiME event, which runs from 10am to 3pm, visit www.greenporthull.co.uk/wime

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