More than 80 young women from across the North West attended a ‘look behind the scenes’ visit at BAE Systems on an evening event designed to inspire the next generation of female engineers.
BAE Systems’ Military Air and Information (MAI) business, which will this year recruit 113 new apprentices, opened the doors of its facility in Warton, where it builds the Eurofighter Typhoon jet used by air forces across the globe.
On the evening, the students were given an insight into the business by a number of women in the engineering team, including Julia Sutcliffe who heads the engineering team behind its Defence Information and Technology Services business.
BAE Systems Military Air and Information head of early careers Andy Bloor said: “Last year, only eight per cent of engineering apprentice applications we received came from women, so we recognise we need to make girls aware of the career options we have available.
“This event provided a perfect opportunity to showcase the opportunities on offer from a career in engineering to young women in the area between 15 and 18 years old. We are fortunate to have some great female role models within our business who can inspire the next generation of young female engineers.”
On the open evening, the students found out about the software and manufacturing technologies behind its aircraft and were even able to ‘fly’ a Typhoon on a fighter jet simulator. They then visited the final assembly hall at the Warton site where the Typhoon jets are put together before being flown in front line action, including by the RAF.
The open evening is part of a series of events staged by MAI’s Early Careers team, which has a team of nearly 200 education ambassadors who regularly speak with young people about career opportunities and is part of a wider programme of outreach.
BAE Systems also runs a Schools Roadshow which this year celebrates its 10th anniversary, having been attended by 250,000 school children since its inception.
Catherine Lawler, human resources director for Engineering at MAI, said: “We work closely alongside schools and colleges to make sure young people know the opportunities available to them within our business. This work is important to ensure we produce our next generation of employees.”
The deadline for applications closes at the end of February. Visit www.baesystems.com/apprentices.