Trinity Academy students given glimpse into career in STEM subjects at visit to Calderdale College to celebrate Internatonal Women's Day

To celebrate International Women’s Day last Friday, 40 female students took part in activities including high-tech virtual reality and robotics and toured the facilities at Calderdale College’s Engineering Centre in Brighouse.
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In partnership with West Yorkshire Manufacturing Services, the day was designed to encourage students to consider career opportunities within science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

The young women, who came from Trinity Academy Grammar, were given the opportunity to hear directly from successful women already working in the sector and learn more about the courses and apprenticeships that Calderdale College offers.

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The day kicked off with a panel discussion and Q&A session hosted by Claire Williams, Head of Employer Engagement at Calderdale College. She was joined by inspirational women in the sector, spanning a broad range of job roles and at various stages of their careers.

Emma Jewkes from A-SAFEEmma Jewkes from A-SAFE
Emma Jewkes from A-SAFE

They included Rebecca Atkinson, Marketing and Communications Manager from STEM school competition F1 in Schools; Sarah Hussain, Finance Director at machine tool provider Colchester Machine Tool Solutions; Emma Jewkes, Test and Research Manager at safety solutions provider A-SAFE and Charlotte Ilkiw, Head of HR at engineering business Thomas Broadbent. Former electrical apprentice, Chloe Hall, also joined the panel, who has since gone on to start her own business.

Attendees were then given the opportunity to tour the state-of-the-art facilities at the Engineering Centre. This included the newly launched i4.0 Hub, which houses high-tech resources and tools focusing on augmented reality, advanced manufacturing, and robotics, where small and medium size businesses can explore how digital technology can improve their productivity and increase innovation.

The day also included a range of demos in the workshops, which reflect the type of equipment found in a workplace. This included in the garage workshop which contains all the latest diagnostic equipment and ramps to carry out light vehicle maintenance and a custom-built welding and fabrication area.

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Calderdale College’s Engineering Centre is on a mission to play its part to fill the shortage of engineers in the area, and to be able to offer high-quality employer-led courses and apprenticeships.

Visit to Calderdale CollegeVisit to Calderdale College
Visit to Calderdale College

Claire Williams, Head of Employer Engagement for Apprenticeships at Calderdale College, said: “As one of the region’s leading further education institutions, we’re passionate about ensuring we play our role in addressing gender imbalances in STEM. This is why we couldn’t be more pleased to be using The Engineering Centre to inspire the next generation, to demonstrate all the exciting careers they could have within these sectors and that they shouldn’t let any barriers get in their way.

“It was fantastic to receive such a positive response from the young women and showcase all the routes they could take to pursue a career in STEM, including apprenticeships. Days like this are incredibly valuable and will help us create a strong pipeline of talent for businesses across the region.”

Alina, a student from Trinity Academy Grammar, said: “Calderdale College’s event has been lovely. The speakers have explained a lot about the different careers within the STEM industries and it’s helped me reflect on what I want to do. I’m very interested in getting into engineering and I know it’s currently a male dominated field, so I’m proud of what I want to be in the future. The robotics activity has been the highlight of my day!”

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