Fife’s female school pupils could be tomorrow’s engineers
As Scotland gets set to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, ambitious young women from schools across Fife are set to take part in a hands-on event that’s been designed to encourage them to pursue a career in construction or engineering.
More than 40 female school pupils from Auchmuty, Woodmill and Inverkeithing high schools will take part in a range of practical and interactive activities at the Forth Crossing Contact and Education Centre on Friday, February 19 which will give them a chance to try their hand at engineering and construction tasks.
The event, which is designed to encourage S4 to S6 girls to take up STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths)-related careers, has been organised by Equate Scotland in partnership with Fife Council, Fife College, the Institute of Physics, Shell’s Girls in Energy programme and Fife schools and employers.
According to Fife Council, it will give the pupils an opportunity to see a real working site at the iconic Forth Bridge and participate in a range of hands-on STEM activities.
Role models will also highlight the career opportunities the engineering and construction sectors can offer and talk about the benefits of Modern Apprenticeships.
The Council says STEM Modern Apprenticeships bring real benefits to employers and to apprentices themselves, and are helping break down barriers to women taking up traditionally male-dominated careers.
Cllr Lesley Laird, Fife Council’s depute leader and executive spokesperson for Economy and Planning, said: “Fife’s young people have much to offer and Modern Apprentices are helping create a dynamic and experienced workforce that makes a positive contribution to our businesses and industries.
“This event marks the success stories of women who have already forged a rewarding career in the industry. It also shows that, in terms of getting great skills encompassing many skilled trades, apprenticeships offered by construction and engineering employers are second to none. Having great skills like these is the key to future success and this event could be the perfect platform to inspire many more young women from Fife to come forward and develop their career in construction in the years ahead.”
Barbara Melville, project coordinator, Modern Apprenticeships Equate Scotland, said: “Modern Apprenticeships offer exciting opportunities for both working and learning in engineering and construction. Young women remain underrepresented in these fields, and strongly benefit from more support and information. This event gives female pupils a real taster of apprenticeship pathways to engineering and construction, to help them flourish in these fields.”
Many of the the students attending are taking part in energy giant Shell’s ‘Girls in Energy’ programme for teenagers to explore careers in engineering, and challenge the perception that engineering jobs are just for men.
Derek Brown, Fife Council’s head of Education (Senior Phase & Employability), said: “In Fife we are passionate about encouraging girls to study STEM subjects at school and considering alternative engineering and tech related careers. This event will help students rethink preconceptions and show them the huge range of different careers available to engineers.”
The girls attending will also be given follow-up support with applications and advice on working in male-dominated workplaces.
The event takes place in the run-up to Scottish Apprenticeship Week – between February 29 and March 4 – which gives individuals, employers, providers and stakeholders a chance to showcase Modern Apprenticeships and the benefits that they bring to Scotland’s businesses and economy.