Girl on production line is company's aim
4:30pm Thursday 26th September 2013 in News
A BID to conquer the stereotype of manufacturing jobs being an exclusively male preserve has been launched by a deluxe car specialist, which is calling on Swindon girls to get technical this half-term.
Young women are being invited to experience what happens at three of BMW Group’s UK manufacturing facilities, including MINI Plant Swindon this October.
It is hoped the project will address the lack of women applying for the company’s apprenticeships, which are mainly taken up by men.
In June the Adver launched a Get Swindon Working campaign to highlight work being done by organisations such as BMW to help people in teh town find work.
Marianne Payne first applied for a laboratory apprenticeship at the BMW Group halfway through her AS-levels.
“It seemed like a natural choice as I’d always been interested in maths and science, and that’s what I was studying at the time,” said Marianne.
“Getting my job offer was one of the best days of my life. It was slightly strange to be the only girl but within a few hours people realise you’re all in the same boat. You’re not a school boy or girl, you’re an apprentice, and everyone is treated equally and with respect.
“I’d love more girls to get involved in engineering because, from what I’ve seen in school, a lot more girls have the right mindset for a technical apprenticeship than actually apply for it and it’s a seriously wasted opportunity; you miss 100 per cent of the shots you don’t take.”
The half-term events will focus on increasing awareness among young women of engineering and manufacturing as a career.
Training adviser at Plant Hams Hall, Lucy Healey, said: “We want to inspire more girls to get excited about a technical career in the automotive industry, and think about applying for our 2014 apprenticeships.”
Thirty places will be available on the programme. Delegates will tour three sites: Plant Oxford, where MINI is built, Plant Hams Hall, where engines are assembled, and Plant Swindon, the body and pressings plant.
At the end of the programme participants will come away with a level one award in Employability Skills and Personal Development.
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