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Female students in Hull and the East Riding who are unsure of their next step after school are being encouraged to attend an open event next month which will showcase careers in manufacturing and engineering.

Holly Ives and Julie Shave

The open day is being held by Green Port Hull’s Women into Manufacturing and Engineering (WiME) initiative, which promotes careers in these sectors to females.

Following the success of the first open event in August 2016, a second one has been planned, as part of Hull UK City of Culture’s Wow - Women of the World festival. It will be held on Saturday 11th March, from 10.30am to 3pm (last entry at 2.30pm), at the Guildhall, in Hull.

The WiME 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.

Holly Ives, 17, attended last year’s open day and has since embarked on a new career as an engineer. Holly had just finished her AS Levels when she went along to the event and was looking for inspiration for her next step, having realised A Levels and university wasn’t the route she wanted to take with her studies.

After meeting staff from Airco Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Ltd, she signed up to a nine-month pre-apprenticeship course with the company, delivered through the Airco Centre of Excellence. This will give her the theory behind engineering, along with practical skills and work experience placements, to make her ‘work-ready’ for a Level 2 apprenticeship later this year.

Holly commented:

“After doing my AS Levels, I realised the academic route wasn’t for me. Engineering had been suggested to me before, so the WiME event was a fantastic way of finding out more.

“The access course at Airco will give me the skills and some basic qualifications, to make me a stronger candidate for an engineering apprenticeship later this year. I’m really enjoying the course and being able to get hands-on in the workshop.”

Holly is one of more than 140 women who has been helped to access new career opportunities in the manufacturing and engineering industries. WiME has put women directly in touch with some of Hull and the East Riding’s largest employers, and given them assistance in applying for jobs and accessing training programmes.

Julie Shave, Tutor/Assessor at Airco Centre of Excellence, said:

“WiME is a great opportunity for us to inspire young women and encourage them to consider a career in engineering. At the last event, we took along our only female apprentice, Ellie Taylor, who is a fantastic role model and was able to answer questions some of the attendees had.

“Not only does WiME help women find out more about careers in manufacturing and engineering, but, with the recruitment of Holly, it’s also proved to be a great way for us to identify young female talent for our next generation of engineers. Holly is learning the basics that will give her a head-start when she comes to start an apprenticeship in September this year. Her skills can be applied to not only air conditioning and refrigeration, but also heating, ventilation and plumbing, meaning it could open so many doors for her in the engineering industry.”

Councillor Helena Spencer, Portfolio Holder with responsibility for Equalities and Diversity, said:

“We are looking forward to the Guildhall hosting this exceptional event, for women across the city to find out more about training and employment in the growing manufacturing and engineering industries.

“Holly’s story is a fantastic example of how Green Port Hull’s event can have a real impact on people’s career paths. I hope this inspires people to come along and discover more about the women who have been pioneers in these sectors.”

Around 20 companies, including local employers Siemens, 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. In addition, Supporting Women in Industry surrounding the Humber (SWIISH), will 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:

“Our first event was a huge success last year. Of the 105 women who attended, 40 returned to the Green Port Hub to find out more, with many creating application profiles with Siemens. We’re confident our next event will be even better, as we have more employers, showcasing a wide variety of roles in the manufacturing and engineering sectors.”

Places are limited for the WIME Careers Open Day, so women are being encouraged to enrol now at www.greenporthull.co.uk/wime-careers where they will find a link to Eventbrite registration.

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. For more information, call 01482 613875 or email greenportenquiries@hullcc.gov.uk