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How Middlesbrough College Group is engineering a rise in female engineers

27 Jun 2024
Female Engineering Students

Middlesbrough College Group has a long and proud history of bringing on the next generation of engineers.

The College’s TTE arm is a byword for excellence in training and skills for a vast range of different engineering disciplines – and increasingly more of the new generation of engineers are female.

Across its engineering courses, which cover all aspects including Mechanical Maintenance, Electrical Maintenance, Instrumentation and Control and Wind Turbine Technicians, there have been rises in the proportion of places being taken up by women.

For example, last year saw a 30% rise in female engineering students and TTE Associate Director John Cooke believes that trend is set to continue.

John explains: “We have seen an increase in the promotion of women in engineering through employer talks delivered in the classroom and companies are also very much actively encouraging and welcoming female applicants.

“We have run events for Women in Engineering for schools to attend and we also run an annual Women in Engineering event with schools in the local area.

“I’m pleased and proud to say we have had many female learners secure apprenticeships and also progress onto some fantastic careers in engineering locally, nationally and also around the world.”

One of those hoping to follow in her predecessors’ footsteps is 17-year-old Ella Power from Middlesbrough.

She’s currently studying a Level 2 Diploma in Performing Engineering Operations having started the course in September 2023.

Ella says: “Engineering is something which I’ve loved from a young age, watching my dad take things apart, putting up lights and so on and I love to get hands-on and fix things.

“After my GCSEs, I did a week’s work experience at Svitzer in Middlesbrough, loved it and so I started at TTE.

“I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to do mechanical engineering or electrical engineering so I was advised to take this course as you get to do both.”

After finishing the Level 2 course this year, in September, Ella will be embarking on a two-year Electrical Installation course, where she will be based at TTE’s brand new state of the art £12m training centre on Middlesbrough College Group’s Middlehaven campus, and she eventually hopes to get an apprenticeship place.

Asked for her advice for budding female engineers, Ella says simply: “Go for it.

“It can be a bit daunting at first because you may be one of only a few girls doing engineering, but in my case, all my classmates have been great. They accepted me straight away and I have never felt uncomfortable.

“My tutors have so much knowledge and experience and they have been so supportive to me. I’ve really enjoyed the course so far.”

Ella’s words are echoed by John Cooke at TTE.

He says: “My advice would be to follow your instinct and explore all options in what  engineering has to offer.

“There are some fantastic opportunities in engineering for women and companies are very keen to promote and employ female engineers.

“If you have the interest and determination to succeed then we can advise and support with all technical and academic skills required in the industry of your choice.”

Further information on engineering courses at TTE can be found here.

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