A new female engineering academy is set to open in Sheffield to help address skills shortages and boost jobs and economic growth.
According to Engineering UK and Women in Engineering, there is an urgent need for more engineers to fill significant skills shortages and support economic growth.
Although engineering has a key role in driving the economy and productivity, it has been forecast that job vacancies in the sector will represent 17% of all vacancies by 2024.
Women are also under-represented. Nationally, 12% of the engineering workforce is female. The UK also has the lowest percentage of female engineers in Europe.
The Liberty Steel Female Engineering Academy – opening at The Sheffield College’s Olive Grove campus – is being set up to help address these issues locally.
It follows the signing of a partnership agreement between the College and Liberty Speciality Steels, based in Stocksbridge and Rotherham.
“Sheffield has a long tradition within this sector and our new partnership agreement reflects a wider commitment that we have to the city and region of supporting employers and their skills needs, job creation and growth,” said Anita Straffon, Deputy Chief Executive of The Sheffield College.
At the academy, students will develop the knowledge and skills to succeed in the engineering sector, with a focus on electrical technology and electronics, and complete the BTEC Extended Diploma in Engineering Level 3, equivalent to A Levels.
Students will learn about all aspects of the business from staff at Liberty Speciality Steels and benefit from industry talks, workshops, work experience and placements. All students who successfully complete their qualification are guaranteed a job interview.
Claire Neilson, Community and Engagement Manger for Liberty Speciality Steels, said: “Supporting the development of a new generation of female engineers will benefit businesses like Liberty Speciality Steels, ensuring our industry and others have the skilled workforce we need for a bright, secure future.”