Female marine engineers break the mould

Paul Boughton

Today (23 June 2015) is National Women in Engineering Day and the British Marine Federation (BMF) is celebrating the marine industry’s female engineers.

In an industry which brings £2.93 billion worth of turnover to the UK economy and employs 31,500 people.

Now more than ever before women are starting off their careers at marine companies. This includes BMF members; Sunseeker International, Princess Yachts, Oyster Yachts, Green Marine and Pendennis Shipyard; who all currently have female engineer apprentices in their employment.

These apprenticeships are vital for shaping the future infrastructure of the industry’s workforce and getting more women at the heart of Britain’s most prestigious marine companies.

As Olivia Richards-Smith, a current Sunseeker apprentice studying an advanced apprenticeship (level 3) in Marine Engineering, own story reflects: “I have always enjoyed working hands on and learning practical skills. Before taking up this apprenticeship I had worked alongside my dad, who is a car mechanic. I did my work experience in a car garage but felt I wanted to gain experience in a more unique and specialist trade.

“I would definitely recommend this apprenticeship as it opens so many opportunities, allowing you to gain so many practical skills whilst going into great detail and understanding about marine systems. My work colleagues, college tutor and the apprenticeship coordinator have all been really supportive to help me gain the qualifications and open up great career prospects.”

Now in its second year, National Women in Engineering Day was set up by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) to highlight the great opportunities for women in engineering, at a time when it has never been more important to address the engineering skills shortage.

Amanda Simpson, Training and Events Manager at the British Marine Federation, comments: “National Women in Engineering Day offers us a great opportunity to challenge the common preconception of the marine industry as a male dominated sector.

“By promoting the females who are breaking the mould of the engineering profession we hope to inspire even more women with the possibilities of a career in the marine industry.”

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