EDF Energy recognises that there is a need to build and sustain the pipeline for talent from the classroom to the boardroom and that a diverse workforce is essential to harness the true potential of the UK and drive economic growth.
The Women into Construction and Engineering intervention was developed to provide an interactive programme to engage learners in engineering/construction activities and raise awareness, particularly amongst the under-represented groups, young women, of their ability to follow a career path into the industry. Part of NNB’s Inspire Education programme, the progressive initiative includes construction and engineering workshops and opportunities for ‘hands on’ experience with plant machinery; all enriched by the expertise of local Ambassadors from the HPC project.
The initiative, Initially set up in partnership with Bridgwater College, provides students with a chance to try out new skills and also hear from women in industry, with the aim being to stimulate their interest in careers where women are typically under-represented. The aim is to provide female students with a realistic taste of what a career in construction or engineering might be like, helping them make more informed career choices.
The programme now takes place in partnership with a number of Colleges across Somerset including Bridgwater, Somerset, Yeovil, Frome and Strode.
Sophie’s Case study
Sophie, 14 from Bridgwater who attends The Bridgwater College Academy
“The Challenge project was so different, unusual and inspiring. I would definitely recommend people to do it as it is such a great experience. You get to meet lots of new people.”
“Every parents’ evening used to be a nightmare. Now I don’t hear one negative word about Sophie and I can’t believe how her attitude has changed. She has been totally motivated, focused and inspired by this fantastic project.”
Paul Coombes, Head of Year at Bridgwater College Academy
“I believe that the Challenge for Women Day Sophie took part in has had a real impact on her confidence levels. Since completing the project Sophie has been a different pupil; this course has provided Sophie with the opportunity to take part in engineering projects, which she has found fascinating and engaging. I have seen a real change in her since taking part in this course.”
Vicky Roe-Mottershead, Teacher of Science at the West Somerset Community College
“Getting the chance to work with large companies such as EDF Energy not only adds an extra perspective to the learning experience, but also crucially opens doors towards careers that our students didn’t previously know existed – giving them more ideas and more choices.”
Nigel Cann, Construction Director
“The ‘Inspire’ education programme is very important to us at EDF Energy. As well as marking an important milestone in preparing the young people of Somerset for the employment and training opportunities at Hinkley Point C, the event at Cannington also highlights the changing face of construction and engineering, with females being encouraged to play a much greater role in the future. That’s great news for the industry, as well as for aspiring female students, as it allows us to realise the true potential of all students and offer greater choice in careers right here in Somerset.”
EDF Energy Education Ambassador Alison Chapman discusses future opportunities with participants in the Women into Construction and Engineering programme.