Aspire to be Steel – Encouraging Women in Engineering

NPTC Group of Colleges was delighted to be a partner in and host the ‘Aspire to be Steel’ event which took place on the 16th and 17th October at Neath College.

Designed to encourage and inspire young females to pursue careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), the event was delivered as a partnership between the ECITB, Regional Learning & Skills Partnership, Engineering at NPTC Group of Colleges and TATA Steel.

According to Engineering UK 2018, engineering industry only has a 12.37% female demographic. The partnership is keen to change this by encouraging more female participation in the industry.

Over fifty year eight pupils from local schools were given the opportunity to participate in a series of ‘have a go’ activities provided by the partnership, which was made up of local and national companies. The students had to the opportunity to experience the latest virtual reality and AI technology as well as buzz wires, robotics and drones. In the afternoon, they were given the chance to win prizes by competing in teams on a pipeline challenge, which tested their project management and teamwork skills.

Day two was spent at Tata Steel in Port Talbot, opened by Dr Laura Baker, Head of Product Manager and Development, who recounted her journey to a career in Engineering and her twenty years of experience in the Steel Industry. Then the students were given a full site tour, engaging in STEM activities along the way. The event was closed by Jessica Leigh Jones, a STEM ambassador from Big Ideas Wales, who shared her inspiring story from being an engineering apprentice to becoming an Astrophysicist.

James Llewellyn, Deputy Head of School: Engineering said: “It’s been a pleasure to be a part of such a successful two-day event that gives young females the opportunity to immerse themselves in STEM activities. The aim is to showcase that a career within engineering/STEM subjects is for everyone not just for men. Our links with industry and higher education providers enable us to invite a fantastic variety of local and national companies who brought amazing ‘have a go’ activities to each stand. It was wonderful to see so many girls from local schools embracing this opportunity and we are delighted to receive such positive feedback. Thank you to all of the partners, companies and colleagues involved making this event possible”.

To find out more about the full-time, part-time and higher education engineering opportunities at NPTC Group of Colleges, please click here.