Female pupils urged to get into engineering industry

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GIRLS have been taking part in engineering workshops in a bid to encourage more women to go into the industry.

Cemast (Centre of Excellence in Engineering & Manufacturing Advanced Skills Training) in Lee-on-the-Solent hosted an engineering day for groups of girls from local schools in conjunction with Opus International Consultants.

From left, Tia Payne, 14, Sophie Oliver-Cole, 13, and Isabelle Gough, 14 from Crookhorn Technology College ''Picture: Sarah Standing (151110-5777)

From left, Tia Payne, 14, Sophie Oliver-Cole, 13, and Isabelle Gough, 14 from Crookhorn Technology College ''Picture: Sarah Standing (151110-5777)

The girls took part in workshops, including exercises in building a geodesic dome, floodwater movement and building bridges.

Debbie Higginbotham is from Opus in Fareham. She said: ‘It’s all about getting young girls in college and schools to understand what opportunities there are available to them within engineering for example civil, structural, mechanical, marine aeronautical – the list is endless.’

‘The industry needs more than two million more engineers in the next decade and we are missing 50 per cent of our population.

‘Engineering is part of everything we do and everything we own.’

Harriet Vick, 15, is a pupil at Cams Hill School in Fareham. She said it’s vital there are more girls working in the industry.

‘It’s important for equality,’ she said. ‘It’s so male dominated. ‘It’s a chance for women to show their potential and get out of that old stereotype that this is only for men.’

Philippa Hill, 15, is a pupil at Swanmore College. She said: ‘This is important because there is such a shortage of women and I think the more girls, the better.’

Anouska Ottley is an engineering lecturer at Cemast. She said: ‘Student numbers with regards to girls are still quite low. We are seeing girls come on to our courses but we really want to increase the numbers.

‘It’s really nice for Opus to promote women in engineering but it’s also an opportunity for us to encourage girls to take up engineering courses.

‘I really do think it’s something that the girls don’t look at as an option. But there are so many other career options out there than the obvious routes.’