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Women across the North and North East Lincolnshire region are being invited to discover job opportunities in the manufacturing and engineering sectors through an event being held by Green Port Hull – the first one to be held on the south bank of the Humber.

Kirsty Clode (WiME Chair), Julie Omond (Production Operative at Siemens), Rachel Morton (Service Operative at Siemens) and Rebekah Shepherd (Human Resources Manager at Siemens)

Women into Manufacturing and Engineering (WiME), which is supported by the Regional Growth Fund, was created in 2016 to encourage women to choose a career in these industries. Following the huge success of its first year, the next event is being held on Saturday 21st October, from 10am to 3pm (last entry at 2.30pm), at the Humber UTC, in Scunthorpe.

The WiME 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.

Around 20 companies, including local employers British Steel and Two Sisters Food Group are supporting this initiative and will be attending the event. In addition, big international firms such as BP, EDF Energy and Dong Energy UK will be looking to inform women about their projects in the region.

Kirsty Clode, Chair of WiME, commented:

“Although manufacturing, engineering and renewables in the Humber region are going from strength to strength, there is an ongoing issue of gender balance within these fields. Just 9% of the UK engineering workforce and 6% of registered engineers and technicians are female.

“Our first events had real impact - eight women have been recruited through the scheme and WiME now has the support of 21 major employers from across the Humber region. We are looking to generate even more interest from across the wider Humber region, so we are thrilled to be holding our first event on the South Bank. We hope lots of women and girls from the area will drop in to find out what careers in engineering and manufacturing are all about.”

Women can talk directly to representatives from 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, and up to 100 attendees will be able to ride on a steam train to look around British Steel’s Scunthorpe manufacturing facility. The site was visited by Prime Minister Theresa May earlier this year.

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

“Not only is the initiative proving a success with women, but it’s also providing a new route to recruitment for employers in the region, and promoting the variety of exciting careers and prospects in manufacturing and engineering.”

Abbie Cheater, 19, from Cleethorpes, has secured an Engineering Apprenticeship in Manufacturing position at Swift Group Ltd in East Yorkshire as a result of the initiative. The former Franklin College student is combining the role with a course at Humberside Engineering Training Association’s (HETA) Stallingborough site.

She says:

“I didn’t want to go to university, I wanted to learn on the job.

“The WiME careers day was amazing, I loved how it was organised so you got a chance to speak to women from a variety of different companies. I took away lots of information and email addresses and when the team at Swift invited me in for a look around with regard to a potential placement I was thrilled. I started at Easter, just a few short weeks after the WiME event.

“My advice to girls like me who are thinking about a career in engineering is don’t shy away or be intimidated by the number of men in the industry. Look into things properly - there are so many different routes and you can find out the one that suits you the best.”

Paula Cullen, Learning and Development Manager at Airco, who have offices across the north including Immingham said:

“Airco are proud to be part of the WiME initiative encouraging women into our industry. We now employ three female engineers in our company and find they add a new positive dimension to the business.”

To register for the WiME event on 21st October, visit www.greenporthull.co.uk/wime. To find out the latest information follow Green Port Hull on Facebook and Twitter.