School leavers are being encouraged to consider a career in engineering where there are significant skills shortages and women are under-represented.
National statistics show that only 9% of the engineering workforce is female, according to the Women’s Engineering Society. The UK has the lowest percentage of female engineers in Europe.
The College is working in partnership with Sheffield charity Women in Engineering, Science and Technology (WEST) to raise awareness of the opportunities.
Steve Elliott, Head of Learning for Engineering, The Sheffield College, said: “We train our students in the skills that employers need to improve their job and careers prospects and support economic growth.”
He added: “As part of that we want to raise awareness amongst girls, as well as boys, about the exciting opportunities that careers in engineering offer and the fantastic industry standard facilities that we have at Olive Grove campus.”
WEST recently organised an industry visit for College students and Meadowhead School pupils to Hope Technology Ltd in Barnoldswick, a world leader in engineering bike components.
They saw computer numerical control machining, carbon fibre prototypes and laser cutters that engrave components. The pupils and students also had the chance to speak to Sheffield College alumni to find out what inspired them to study engineering.
Former student De-lanee Ashton, 20, studied mechanical engineering at Olive Grove campus and is now at Sheffield Hallam University. She said: “I like the idea that you can start with a blank canvas and make something from your imagination.”
Liz Kettle, WEST Coordinator, said: “WEST is working with the College to encourage more girls and women to train and study for jobs in engineering, science, technology and construction where there are major skills shortages. We are organising a series of industry visits and want to thank Hope Technology for their fantastic support and providing such an inspirational insight into the sector.”
WEST makes annual bursaries to support women studying in traditionally male-dominated areas of engineering, science, technology and construction. To watch the latest films on students’ stories, and to apply for the bursary in time for the June 30th 2017 deadline, visit www.westskills.org.uk
The £6.8 million Olive Grove campus, on Olive Grove Road, comprises a new teaching block with the latest technical classrooms, and workshops.
Marked by a striking steel sail design, the four-storey building opened in 2015 and adds more than 2,600 square metres of new space with the refurbishing and upgrading of existing motor vehicle workshops.
Around £450,000 of new electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, motor vehicle, plumbing, heating and ventilation and sustainable construction equipment has been installed.
The College, which has a £321 million economic impact on the city every year, is investing in teaching and learning, in sectors identified for regional economic growth. Click here to find out more about full-time courses starting in September 2017 or call 0114 2602600.