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AWE apprentices have helped encourage female pupils into a career in engineering ahead of National Apprenticeship Week, March 14-18.
National Apprenticeship Week (#NAW2016) is co-ordinated by the National Apprenticeship Service and is designed to celebrate apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy.At the annual Girls in Engineering event organised by AWE apprentices, 25 female pupils from four local schools learned how to work as a team to solve engineering challenges.
The AWE apprenticeship scheme has been running for nearly 65 years and 11% of the workforce are ex-apprentices. The scheme typically recruits 45 new apprentices each year between November and January.
The event at Park House School on March 7, was attended by pupils from Basingstoke Schools, Aldworth, Costello and Dove House and Newbury school Park House. The one-day event is part of AWE’s continued commitment to inspire and encourage girls to consider a career in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) before they choose their GSCE options.
Year-eight pupils took part in engineering challenges; a marble run, tower build and an egg catch. Each challenge was designed to test and assess the pupils ability to problem solve, manage time, think innovatively and creatively and to work as a team, which all make up the key principles of engineering.
The winning team Dove House, who were first overall impressed the judges with their strategic and thoughtful approach to the day.
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Natalie Chapple from Dove House said:
"It was a really well organised event and it was great for the students to be taking part. It gave them an opportunity to work as a team and to learn more skills. The pupils who took part are involved in a STEM club at school."
AWE apprentice Amy Lambden, said:
"One of the main aims of the challenge is to break the stigma attached to engineering. It’s not just about men fixing cars and getting hands dirty. Engineering involves a host of very different skills and girls are just as capable at doing this as boys are. All the girls who attended worked extremely hard on the set challenges and it was fantastic to see so much enthusiasm and energy in the room."
Kerry Barker, Head of Engineering at AWE, who started her career as an AWE apprentice, comments:
"Today was a perfect opportunity to get the girls thinking that engineering is a real option for them as they approach a critical stage in their education and choose what GCSE options to take. The challenge not only helps to develop life skills but also raises awareness about the serious engineering skills shortage we have in the UK. I would like to congratulate the winning team and also thank all the apprentices who made today possible. They are a real credit to the AWE Skills Academy."
A Dove House pupil, the winning school at the AWE Girls in Engineering Challenge, being shown a challenge with an AWE apprentice.