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Women across Hull and the East Riding are being invited to discover job opportunities in the manufacturing and engineering sectors at a careers open day. The event will be held on Saturday 20th August from 10am at the Green Port Hub, in Hull’s Central Library.

Siemens employee Laura Emms

Women into Manufacturing and Engineering (WIME) is an initiative by Green Port Hull, supported by the Regional Growth Fund, to encourage women to choose a career in these industries. The open day will be a chance to meet women already working in these sectors, find out about current vacancies, discover what training and qualifications are needed, and learn about apprenticeship opportunities. There will also be the chance for women to take part in demonstrations, try on personal protective equipment (PPE) and use some of the everyday tools required in some manufacturing and engineering roles.

Tim Rix, Chair of the Green Port Growth Programme Board, commented:

“With great pay, a high number of vacancies and attractive prospects, careers in manufacturing and engineering present a wide variety of interesting and exciting roles, which play an important part in our economy. In the Humber region, manufacturing contributes 16% of our employment compared to 10% for England – with this number set to grow thanks to the investment in renewable energy. However, despite the high demand for people with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) qualifications, women are under-represented in these roles.

“This careers open day will highlight the opportunities available and hopefully encourage women to consider entering manufacturing and engineering. We are proud to host such an event and are confident it will be a success.”

Local employers such as Siemens and Airco Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Limited are supporting this initiative and will be attending the event. Women can talk directly to representatives from these companies and their female employees about how to get into this exciting and growing sector of the local economy.

Carolyn Woolway, Head of Human Resources for the Siemens Hull project, said:

“We’re really keen to encourage girls and women to consider careers in manufacturing and engineering and this event is a perfect opportunity for them to get the information they need all in one place. They will also be able to hear from women about their positive experiences of working in manufacturing and engineering roles.

“We want to change preconceptions some women may have about manufacturing and engineering jobs and open their eyes to the wide range of fantastic careers that are available. We have hired women for a wide variety of manufacturing and engineering positions in our new factory and associated operations in Hull, but the level of female applications has not been as high as we would ideally have hoped for.

“We suspect there is a perception that some of the jobs we are creating are not appropriate for women, but that is simply not the case. This event will enable girls who are considering their options after school and women of working age to find out about these career options and the exciting opportunities and prospects they offer to female candidates.”

Laura Emms, 25, a member of Siemens’ new Hull workforce, will be sharing her experiences as a female engineer at the Women in Manufacturing and Engineering event.

Laura has prospered as an engineer and says more females should see engineering and manufacturing as career choices.

She said:

“I like being busy and having variety in my work. Engineering has everything I want.

“At Siemens, there are women on every operating team within the factory and all around the office in Aalborg where I have done my training. None of the jobs are male-only. I haven’t felt like the odd one out - you really feel part of the team.”

Laura urged female candidates to follow her example and apply for roles with Siemens in Hull: “I would encourage them to go for it. They’ll find they are at least as capable of doing the job as the men.”

Paula Cullen, Training and Development Manager at Airco Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Limited, said:

“There have been no qualified women engineers within Airco Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Limited to date, which is why we are keen to encourage women into the industry. This event will enable them to gain good quality information, advice and guidance on what opportunities are available, and ask our first female engineer apprentice what it is like to work within the sector.

“There is a lot of work to be done to break down historic barriers to entry into these industries. Hopefully this event will be a positive step in the right direction to encourage more women to not only consider a role in manufacturing and engineering, but embark on lifelong, successful careers.”

Places are limited for the WIME Careers Open Day, so women are being encouraged to enrol now at http://greenporthull.co.uk/jobs-training/women-into-manufacturing-and-engineering

Information about WIME is available from the Green Port Hub, situated in Hull’s Central Library. The Hub is open at the following times: Monday and Tuesday, 9.30am to 5pm; Wednesday, 1pm to 7.30pm; Thursday, 9.30am to 7.30pm; Friday, 9.30am to 1pm; and Saturday, 10am to 4pm. A Siemens recruitment representative is based at The Hub one day a week. For more information, call 01482 613875 or email greenportenquiries@hullcc.gov.uk 

Visit http://greenporthull.co.uk/thehub for more information or like the Green Port Hull Facebook page www.facebook.com/greenporthull