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College event inspires next generation of female engineers

Chippenham

More than 200 Year 9 and 10 pupils attended a Wiltshire College & University Centre event aimed at inspiring the next generation of female engineers.

The College’s Women in Engineering event took place at the Chippenham campus on Friday 6th March and saw schools travel from across Wiltshire, Somerset and Bristol to be involved.

This is the third year the event has taken place and this year the College was delighted to welcome former apprentice Nicole Fever as its guest speaker.

Nicole, aged 25, who is a research and development technician at Steve Vick International in Bradford on Avon, won an award for Engineering Apprentice of the Year at the College’s annual Apprenticeship Awards last month after completing a Level 4 qualification. She also received the Principal’s Outstanding Apprentice of the Year Award.

Addressing the pupils at the start of the event, Nicole said: “I am so delighted to be involved with this event and talk to pupils about my own journey.

“I would highly recommend a career in engineering, but it will require hard work and an open mind. So, if you take anything away today, is that you could be an engineer.

“You are female, but you are much more than that, you are a person that has likes and dislikes, and if you think you could enjoy drawing, design, building, manufacturing, creating something in the future, then engineering is for you.”

The pupils spread their time across three zones, taking part in a variety of activities showcasing the wealth of careers available in engineering.

This included making bridges from paper, identifying viruses, making Origami cubes similar to those used in space, programming, completing a robot obstacle course, constructing water pipes, and using VR.

Pupils were able to talk to the experts from companies such as Babcock, Cross Manufacturing, MJ Church, Oxford Brookes, Siemens, Rolls Royce, UWE, Wessex Water and Zircon.

Maddie, 14, a Year 10 pupil from Warminster School, said: “It’s been a really educational interactive and inspiring day.

“It was great to hear Nicole talk about her journey as I’d never thought about a career in that sector before today.

“I definitely would now as it has made me realise how many different possible careers there are.

The College was also showcasing its range of engineering courses and was delighted the Imogen Wakefield, a Level 3 Land-based Technology student was on hand to talk to visitors about her own experience.

Imogen, 17, came to the very first Women in Engineering event three years ago and was herself inspired to pursue a career in engineering.

She said: “Coming to this event as a pupil really helped me to decide what career to pursue.

“I had been interested in engineering, which is why I wanted to attend, but it was during that event that I saw a tractor and got talking to staff from Lackham.

“I knew that it was for me and when I then went along to a taster day later in the year, I fell in love with Lackham and the course so applied straight away.

“The course is a lot of fun; I am learning so much and there is such a wide variety of tractors and equipment for us to work with.

“It’s been great to be here today to highlight this career to others.

“I’m the only girl on my course, but it doesn’t bother me in the slightest. I’m doing that I want.”

If you would like to find out more about the range of full-time, university level and apprenticeships available in engineering, visit www.wiltshire.ac.uk.

To see more photographs from Women in Engineering, visit our Facebook page!

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