This is how a new Sheffield female engineering academy plans to bring equality to the industry

A new female engineering academy, which hopes to inspire more women to get ahead in the industry, is set to open in Sheffield.

Thursday, 18th July 2019, 3:09 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th July 2019, 12:09 pm
Female engineering academy to open in Sheffield

Liberty Steel Female Engineering Academy will open at The Sheffield College’s Olive Grove campus in September, to help address engineering 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 per cent of all vacancies by 2024.

Women are also under-represented, representing just 12 per cent of the national engineering workforce. The UK also has the lowest percentage of female engineers in Europe.

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The new academy is being set up to help address these issues locally and follows the signing of a partnership agreement between the College and Liberty Speciality Steels, in Stocksbridge and Rotherham.

Anita Straffon, deputy chief executive of The Sheffield College, said: “We are delighted to work with Liberty Speciality Steels to inspire more women to go further in the engineering sector where there are great career and employment opportunities.

“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.”

Students at the new academy will develop the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the engineering sector - with a focus on electrical technology and electronics - and complete the BTEC Extended Diploma in Engineering Level 3. 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.