Women across Hull and the East Riding are being invited to discover job opportunities in the manufacturing and engineering sectors through an event being held by Green Port Hull, as part of Hull UK City of Culture's Wow-Women of the World festival.

Women into Manufacturing and Engineering (WIME), which is supported by the Regional Growth Fund, aims to encourage women to choose a career in these industries. Following the success of its first open event when the initiative launched in August 2016, a second one has been planned for Saturday 11th March, from 10.30am to 3pm (last entry at 2.30pm), at the Guildhall, in Hull.

The WiME open day will be a chance to meet women already working in these sectors, find out about current vacancies, discover what training and qualifications are needed, and learn about apprenticeship opportunities.

Around 20 companies, including local employers Siemens, Airco Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Limited, Swift Group, Centrica plc, ABP, British Steel, Ideal Boilers, Spencer Group, Level Systems, MB Roche & Sons Ltd, Humber Rewind, Turner Timber Frames and AIG Engineering are supporting this initiative and will be attending the event. In addition, Supporting Women in Industry surrounding the Humber (SWIISH), will be there on the day.

Women can talk directly to representatives from these companies and their female employees about how to get into this exciting and growing sector of the local economy. There will also be an opportunity to get hands-on with engineering equipment, including a Siemens blade mould, and an F-Gas rig from Airco Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Limited. 

Tim Rix, Chair of the Green Port Growth Programme Board, commented:

Last year's launch event was a huge success. Of the 105 women who attended the event, 40 returned to the Green Port Hub to find out more and create application profiles with Siemens. One attendee is now working as a packing operative at Siemens' blade manufacturing facility at Alexandra Dock, whilst another is now undertaking a trainee course at Airco Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Limited. 

Not only is the initiative proving a success with women, but it's also providing a new route to recruitment for local employers, and promoting the variety of exciting careers and prospects in manufacturing and engineering.

Rebekah Shepherd, Siemens Human Resources Advisor, said:

Siemens is working hard to increase the number of women within our workforce in Hull, as part of our commitment to workplace diversity. We're also committed to collaborating with partners to promote manufacturing and engineering as excellent career choices for women.

We were delighted to play a major part in the first WiME event last August. Since then we have seen a marked increase in women applying for the jobs we have advertised in Hull, which is very encouraging. A number of women who came to the first event have also now joined us, which is a great result.

We're excited to be involved in this latest event and pleased to see this valuable initiative continue to grow.

Councillor Helena Spencer, Portfolio Holder with responsibility for Equalities and Diversity at Hull City Council, said:

This is a great opportunity for women interested in the manufacturing or engineering industries to come and speak to the many and varied businesses that will be here at the event. It's a chance to chat to other women already working in manufacturing and engineering and hear first-hand about what is involved.

Previous events have proved successful and resulted in increased applications from women in these industries, which is excellent. We know the number of people unemployed in the city continues to decline and events such as this help support routes to employment, as the opportunities in these sectors grow.

WOW “ Women of the Worldfestival is a global festival movement created by Southbank Centre's Artistic Director Jude Kelly CBE in 2011. Making its debut in Hull this year, the festival celebrates women and girls, and looks at the obstacles that stop them from achieving their potential. Through a weekend of talks, music, debate, comedy and performance, WOW Hull will celebrate International Women's Day (8th March), asking why true gender equality is taking so long to achieve and what we need to do to bring about real and lasting change.

WOW Hull festival programmer Madeleine O'Reilly said:

If you were inspired by the men and women who made Blade at Green Port Hull, this is a fantastic opportunity to come and find out more about how to get involved in an exciting hands-on career. Join the discussion about gender equality and make a lasting change.

Places are limited for the WIME Careers Open Day, so women are being encouraged to enrol now at greenporthull.co.uk/wime-careers where they will find a link to Eventbrite registration. 

Information about WIME is available from the Green Port Hub, situated in Hull's Central Library. The Hub is open at the following times: Monday and Tuesday, 9.30am to 5pm; Wednesday, 1pm to 7.30pm; Thursday, 9.30am to 7.30pm; Friday, 9.30am to 1pm; and Saturday, 10am to 4pm. For more information, call 01482 613875 or email greenportenquiries@hullcc.gov.uk





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