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Orion laser facility

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AWE welcomes its largest intake of female apprentices

AWE has welcomed an increase in the number of female apprentices joining the prestigious AWE Skills Academy.

The number of female apprentices joining the AWE scheme has almost doubled since the 2013 intake; from four to seven in 2014.

The work that AWE’s Skills Academy has done with local schools has been credited for this increase.

AWE has been supporting young people through one of the country’s most successful apprenticeship schemes for over 60 years, giving career opportunities to generations of scientists and engineers. Their programmes have been recognised with National Awards for excellence.

The total number of female apprentices at AWE has increased from 5% to 15% in 2014.

Specifically events such as the Girls in Engineering Challenge which took place in March saw over a hundred girls from local schools taking part in engineering challenges. The event was hosted by AWE apprentices and aimed to inspire young women into careers in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

 Shan Martin, Director HR at AWE, said: “With Government reports indicating that an additional 820,000 STEM professionals will be required in the UK by 2020, it is really important that businesses do what they can to encourage young people to take up Science, Engineering and related careers. Female participation in UK STEM careers is currently estimated at 10-12%. This is the lowest rate in the EU and needs addressing to ensure we have a competitive STEM skills base to secure our future as a knowledge-intensive economy. Attracting females into engineering is a challenge industry-wide, so I’m delighted that we have seen this increase in female population of the Academy this year. This is a real step in the right direction.”

 AWE apprentice Sammy McRae said: “A lot of hard work went into organising the Girls in Engineering Challenge event but it certainly paid off when we saw the smiles on the girl’s faces and heard their comments about how much they enjoyed the day, it makes it all worth while. I and my team thoroughly enjoyed ourselves hosting this event and hope we demonstrated to the pupils that engineering is an exciting and interesting career path to follow.”

This year 45 apprentices in total have joined AWE undertaking a variety of apprenticeships, such as mechanical maintenance, precision machinist, electronic, control and instrumentation, electrical maintenance and quality inspection.

 Rob Cottrell, AWE Skills Academy manager said: “It’s always exciting to welcome our new Apprentices. It’s a culmination of many months work with contributions and support from across the organisation. The continued investment in apprenticeships at AWE demonstrates the company’s commitment to developing scarce skills in support of delivering our technical programme.”

AWE has pledged its continued support for young people in industry by signing up to a national initiative aimed at addressing the UK’s skills shortage. The 5% Club is an industry wide pledge to commit 5% of a company’s workforce to apprenticeships, student, or graduate training programmes. Currently, AWE is surpassing this target of 5%.

Notes to Editors

1.     AWE plays a crucial role in national defence by providing and maintaining warheads for

Trident, the UK's nuclear deterrent

2.     AWE is contracted to the Ministry of Defence (MOD) through a Government-owned Contractor

Operated (GOCO) arrangement. Whilst our sites and facilities remain in government ownership, their

management, day to day operations, and the maintenance of the nuclear stockpile is contracted to a

private company AWE Management Limited (AWE ML). AWE ML is a consortium comprising three equal

partners: Serco Group plc, the Lockheed Martin Corporation and Jacobs Engineering Group.

3.     For further information contact Media@AWE.co.uk or 01189855888

 

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