A group of 18 girls aged 14-18 took part in an engineering information day at Gesipa Blind Riveting systems in Keighley as part of National Women in Engineering Day (23rd June). The event was organised through The Industrial Centre of Excellence for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering (ICE) based within Keighley College and was hosted by ICE Board Member and Gesipa Managing Director Diana Scholefield who as a highly qualified engineer herself is passionate about getting more girls into engineering.
Engineering is a growing sector in terms of employment and requires some 1.82 million new engineers by 2022. It also offers great opportunities for career progression and a diverse range of job roles, from technical sales, to research and design and manufacturing and there is often support from the employer for staff to progress academically. Jobs tend to be well paid typically ranging from £22,000 – £50,000 per annum and above. Despite this, only 10% of engineering employees are female, meaning that the sector is missing out on a huge amount of talent.
The day involved talks on the engineering industry and the careers available, a presentation on Gesipa and talks with some off the female engineers working there. The girls also took part in and engineering challenge and the day ended with a tour of the factory and a chance to look at some of the products that are made using the rivets manufactured by Gesipa including a Range Rover body shell. The girls also had opportunity to try their hand at riveting.
Caroline Ward 14-19 Deputy Head said ‘We need to make girls aware that engineering is a diverse industry with many different career opportunities many of them in clean and high tech environments’.
Informing young people of their career choices is a vital part of Keighley College’s strategy. If we are going to attract bright young people and particularly girls into the engineering sector we have to raise its profile and make both parents and children aware of the fantastic opportunities it offers.