Young women flocking to engineering career path

A college has announced its biggest ever intake of young women who want to study engineering.

North East Scotland College (Nescol) started its Girls in Energy programme in 2008, when just 12 girls signed up to the initiative.

It aims to encourage the youngsters into courses focusing on the energy sector when they eventually leave school.

And now, almost a decade on, its Fraserburgh campus has accepted its largest ever intake with more than 110 young women from nine secondary schools applying to be involved.

This year’s course – which is open to pupils aged between 14 and 17 – was launched on International Women in Engineering Day.

Anyone who successfully completes it is awarded a National 5 level qualification in energy.

Duncan Abernethy, the college’s head of business, said: “This course is designed to open the door for you to take a look to see if this is a sector that you would be interested in exploring further.

“You get to meet and work with pupils from other schools and attend educational and industry visits so you can see for yourself the types of jobs that are available within the energy and engineering sector.

“There is still a recognised skills shortage in engineering and women remain under-represented in this field.”

Lisa Mowat, who now works at St Fergus Gas Terminal, completed the course when she was at Mintlaw Academy.

She added: “When I first enrolled onto the Girls in Energy course at Mintlaw Academy I had no interest in the industry.

“It was only when I went on the company visits, visited Offshore Europe and attended the work experience at Shell that I realised the variety of job roles on offer, onshore as well as offshore. That’s where I found out about the inspection department and the role of reading, testing and reporting on corrosion.”

Over the next year the pupils will cover energy topics including wind turbines, solar hot water systems, and oil and gas extraction.

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