23 Jul 13

EDF Energy and Bridgwater College encourage young women’s industry interest

Local female students experienced a three-day taster course on what a career in construction or engineering could offer them – thanks to an innovative partnership between Bridgwater College and EDF Energy.

Twenty-six Year 8 students from schools in Bridgwater and Taunton tried their hands at building circuits and designing a rollercoaster as part of the course and also visited Hinkley Point B nuclear power station.

The partnership project provided 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 underrepresented.

Gemma Martin, 13 years old and a pupil at Robert Blake Science College said: “The project has been very interesting and inspired me in many ways. It has helped me see construction and engineering in a different light and proved that these industries aren’t just for men.”

Tom Thayer, Education Programme Coordinator at EDF Energy said: “Our 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. This is the second year we’ve run the project, which is part of our wider education programme in Somerset, and the response has been great."

Paul Goss, Section Leader for Engineering at Bridgwater College, said, “We set out to inspire young women to think about a career in one of these fantastic industries and have definitely reached our goal. We look forward to their return in the autumn term where we have more exciting activities planned that will highlight future opportunities for them.”

In December the young women will be invited back to Bridgwater College’s Construction Skills and Innovation Centre – in which EDF Energy has invested £1.5 million – to roll up their sleeves and sample skills like bricklaying, plastering and painting.