Portsmouth space company joins manufacturing campaign

Matthew Hancock at Airbus
Matthew Hancock at Airbus
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ONE of Portsmouth’s space businesses has joined a national campaign to encourage young people to consider a career in manufacturing.

Business minister Matthew Hancock, who is also minister for Portsmouth, launched the annual campaign yesterday in a speech in front of businesses, politicians and school girls from Purbrook Park School.

Airbus Defence and Space Limited in Copnor is the first firm in the city to take part in See Inside Manufacturing.

Mr Hancock said: ‘The schoolgirls here saw the latest hi-tech manufacturing happening in Portsmouth and the opportunities available.’

Joanne Woods, 19, who lives in Portsmouth, is in her second year as an apprentice at Airbus. She is working in manufacturing, making components.

‘I was a very university orientated person and then I realised you need experience to get a job and doing an apprenticeship is the best way to do that,’ she said.

‘It was really good for the minister to come and speak to us. I was in the clean room and got to listen to him talk to us.’

Asked about the lack of females choosing a career in the engineering field, she said: ‘It is a shame that some people think this is a job for men. Most of my superiors are women. I am becoming an ambassador to reach out to girls. It is not a male job. Anyone can get into this industry.’

Another apprentice, Joe Burton, who is also 19, said he likes being able to earn a wage while learning and gaining experience in engineering.

The Hayling Island resident said: ‘I think engineering is a really good thing to study because it allows you to get hands on experience.’