En­gi­neer­ing a new ca­reer for young women

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - NEWS -

Weld­ing, pol­ish­ing and sand blast­ing were among the daily ac­tiv­i­ties for a group of young women dur­ing a re­cent work place­ment at Hamil­ton-based man­u­fac­turer Longveld.

The place­ment is part of a unique train­ing course of­fered by Win­tec and Longveld, aimed at get­ting more women into en­gi­neer­ing. Six­teen young women from Waikato sec­ondary schools are en­rolled in the pro­gramme, which is in its first year. They visit Win­tec’s work­shop one day a week, where they train in fab­ri­ca­tion and en­gi­neer­ing while gain­ing cred­its to­wards NCEA Level 2.

They then spend one week at Longveld work­ing along­side staff, ro­tat­ing be­tween ac­tiv­i­ties in­clud­ing stain­less steel sheet me­tal fab­ri­ca­tion, wa­ter­jet pro­file cut­ting, weld­ing, grind­ing, sand blast­ing and com­puter-aided (CAD) de­sign.

As part of their ac­tiv­i­ties, they pro­duced name plates and minia­ture stain­less steel house frames. This, along with the ro­ta­tion sys­tem gave them a chance to ex­pe­ri­ence first-hand what it means to work on in­di­vid­ual man­u­fac­tur­ing and fab­ri­ca­tion com­po­nents that would ul­ti­mately con­trib­ute to the cre­ation of a larger pro­ject such as a milk tanker, farm vat or dairy fac­tory.

Shawnee Dixon from Hamil­ton’s Fraser High School says: “It was a great ex­pe­ri­ence, with friendly staff at Longveld who taught us a lot and were al­ways there to help. It was a re­ally good op­por­tu­nity and a great ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Win­tec youth path­ways man­ager, Johnny Gor­don, says the course is a good way of en­cour­ag­ing women into what is tra­di­tion­ally seen as a male-ori­ented in­dus­try.

“The pro­gramme pro­vides the op­por­tu­nity for women to learn in an en­vi­ron­ment where they’re not the only fe­male in the room,” he says.

“It’s been great to see their con­fi­dence grow through­out the pro­gramme and in par­tic­u­lar dur­ing their time at Longveld. To­wards the end of the week they had be­come a group of self­as­sured young women, one step closer to a suc­cess­ful ca­reer in en­gi­neer­ing.

“The part­ner­ship with Longveld is ex­cit­ing for the Waikato Trades Academy be­cause it means we now have the con­nec­tion be­tween sec­ondary, ter­tiary and in­dus­try,” says Gor­don.

The stu­dents are in two groups for the work place­ment sec­tion of the pro­gramme, with the sec­ond group set to com­plete their Longveld place­ment in Septem­ber.

The pro­gramme is part of Win­tec’s Waikato Trades Academy, a Gov­ern­ment-led ini­tia­tive, free to stu­dents, which sees Win­tec part­ner with Waikato sec­ondary schools to en­cour­age stu­dents to stay in school for longer by en­gag­ing them in hands-on learn­ing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.