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Four months since the opening of its manufacturing facility at Alexandra Dock, Siemens will be showcasing future employment opportunities at a careers open day aimed at women. Green Port Hull’s Women into Manufacturing and Engineering (WiME) event is being held this Saturday (March 11th) at the Guildhall, Hull.

Chloe Barnett

The careers 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. It will be open from 10.30am to 3pm (last entry at 2.30pm), and will form part of Hull UK City of Culture’s WOW - Women of the World festival.

The WiME initiative, which aims to encourage women to choose a career in these industries, has proved a fruitful recruitment route for Siemens. Packing operative Chloe Barnett, 18, attended WiME’s first careers open day in August last year. After meeting employees from Siemens and finding out more about the day-to-day processes, she applied for a role and was taken on in January.

She said: “Working at Siemens, my dad heard about the first WiME event through a few colleagues who were going along to do presentations. He encouraged me to go along, as Siemens strive to recruit more female employees. At the time, I was coming to the end of an apprenticeship in customer services and fancied a career that was more physical and hands-on.

“The WiME event really opened my eyes to the types of roles that are out there. Although I had an idea about what Siemens does, it was great to have the different roles explained in more detail. I was also given the opportunity to see and feel the fibreglass and moulds that are used to create turbine blades. I thought they’d be heavy and dirty, but they’re actually the opposite.

“After my apprenticeship came to an end, I applied for a role and was fortunate to be taken on as a packing operative. I’m really enjoying learning something new.”

Rebekah Shepherd, Siemens Human Resources Advisor, said:

“Despite the many opportunities out there in manufacturing and engineering, women are still under-represented in these industries. When we undertook our recruitment drive in Hull, we saw this significant shortage first-hand. For example, out of over 20,000 applications we received for jobs at our Hull facility, only 7% were from women.

“The last WiME event was a huge success for us. We received an increased number of job applications after meeting women at the event, and also recruited Chloe as a result. We also felt it was a valuable way to communicate the type of work we do.”

In addition to Siemens, around 20 companies, including local employers Airco Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Limited, Swift Group, Centrica plc, ABP, British Steel, Ideal Boilers, Spencer Group, Level Systems, MB Roche & Sons Ltd, Humber Rewind, Turner Timber Frames and AIG Engineering are supporting this initiative and will be attending the event. Supporting Women in Industry surrounding the Humber (SWIISH) will also be there on the day.

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. There will also be an opportunity to get hands-on with engineering equipment, including a Siemens blade mould, and an F-Gas rig from Airco Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Limited.

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

“At WiME, we have worked closely with Siemens throughout the company’s recruitment drives to encourage women to consider some of the roles on offer. Our WiME launch event last August generated a lot of interest in careers there, and we hope this continues both for Siemens and other businesses attending.”

Places are limited for the WiME Careers Open Day, so women are being encouraged to enrol now.