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Specialist engineering training company sees boom in female apprentices

Abbiegail Hill, Metsec

With International Women in Engineering Day taking place on 23rd June, a national training provider is celebrating increased growth in the recruitment of female engineers to the industry.

The Construction and Design Centre of Excellence (CADCOE), is a specialist training provider in recruiting digital engineering apprentices to the construction industry. In 12 months, the company has taken its percentage of females on programme from two per cent to just over 14 per cent.

With targets in place, to increase this figure again over the next 12 months, Cadcoe wants to encourage more young females to consider careers within the field of engineering.

Cadcoe Director of Teaching, Lee Drummond spends 16 weeks with each apprentice, providing intensive training in 2D, 3D modelling and BIM, before they join the work of work full-time. “It has been brilliant to see an increase of females on the digital engineering apprenticeship. Cadcoe has been working hard, particularly during the last two years, to change perceptions of what it means to work within engineering and construction and this is the key to ensuring young people feel a career in this area is accessible and achievable for anyone, with amazing progression opportunities.”

The Construction and Design Centre of Excellence is part of the Technical Design Services Group. It’s sister company TDS recruits between two and four apprentices with Cadcoe every year. Currently 40 per cent of its apprentice workforce is female. Apprentice CAD Engineers Lexxi and Lora, joined TDS in September 2017 and are already on track for very successful careers.

Apprentice CAD Engineers Lexxi and Lora

Lexxi, 16, brings fierce determination. After being told time and time again by her peers, that engineering is not for females, she set out to achieve her ambitions of securing employment and training as a CAD engineer.

Working in a male dominant environment has not phased either of them. Lora, who has recently celebrated her 17th birthday states this is one of the most rewarding and enjoyable choices she has ever made; “the fact I’m in the minority of females at work is irrelevant. What is relevant, is the fact that I feel as though I’m part of one big family, and everyone is supporting me, guiding me and genuinely wants me to succeed – no-one should ever feel deterred by what history tells us males and females are best suited to.”

Technical Design Services Group Director, Daniel Leech, echoes the thoughts of Mr Drummond commenting: “We all have a duty to promote engineering and construction careers, as being inclusive to all. There’s no denying the fact, that welcoming more females to the workforce, brings a new dimension to our teams – all positive, diversity plays a huge part in our success and enables us to challenge and develop new ways of working. This is a really exciting time to join the industry, and everyone should feel they have the opportunity to be a part of it.”