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Jobs for the girls: female apprentices needed to fill UK skills gap

Anna Leach | The guardian | 17 march 2016

Emily Ellwood, an engineering apprentice at PA is interviewed for an article on female apprentices filling the gap for careers in engineering, construction and transport. The article looks at how the male-female balance can be addressed. 

The article explains that men outnumber women by 25 to one on engineering apprenticeships. PA is helping to address this with its apprenticeship scheme that Emily is part of.

Emily believes that to get more girls interested in engineering, it needs to capture their imagination from a young age. She says she hadn’t considered a career in engineering when she was younger because she didn’t have a clear image of what it was.

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Emily goes on to say: “At school I had the impression that engineering was all about spanners and hammers and getting dirty. But the whole idea of engineering is you have to design aspects of people’s lives to make them better. We could be designing a new foetal heart monitor, for example.”

Emily goes on to talk about the feeling you get from developing new products: “The buzz we get when we get our products to market is incredible, but I would have never known how amazing that feeling is if I hadn’t given it a chance.”

She adds that more needs to be done to dispel the myths around jobs in the industry to encourage more women to consider it as a career option: “We need to get them from when they’re about five – building stuff, taking stuff apart. We need to start from primary school but it needs to be continued through their education.”

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