Pupils take BA tour for women’s day

Teenagers see op­por­tu­ni­ties avail­able to them

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Salina Pa­tel salina.pa­tel@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

BUD­DING fe­male en­gi­neers were taken on a tour of a Bri­tish Air­ways en­gi­neer­ing base at Heathrow to mark In­ter­na­tional Women’s Day.

Around 60 fe­male pupils from schools in Ham­mer­smith, Eal­ing, Houn­slow, Har­row, Hayes and Rich­mond en­tered the hangar doors on Tues­day March 8, where they saw en­gi­neers hard at work on mul­ti­mil­lion-pound air­craft and learned more about the op­por­tu­ni­ties open to them.

The spe­cial visit, which also ties in with Na­tional Ca­reers Week, is aimed at in­spir­ing the next gen­er­a­tion of women en­gi­neers.

BA gen­eral man­ager en­gi­neer­ing, Joanna James said: “Days like to­day can help more girls and women learn first- hand about main­te­nance and en­gi­neer­ing roles and high­light op­por­tu­ni­ties open to them in the in­dus­try.

“We hope to show that it is just as much a ca­reer for women as it is for men, and one which I would strongly rec­om­mend.”

Dur­ing the visit, the teenage girls, aged 14 to 16, met se­nior BA en­gi­neers in­clud­ing Ms James, as well as short­haul en­gi­neer­ing fleet chief He­len McCarry and the air­line’s di­rec­tor of en­gi­neer­ing Andy Ker­swill, who pro­vided ad­vice on how to get into the in­dus­try.

Fol­low­ing a tour of the Heathrow en­gi­neer­ing fa­cil­ity, the girls got a chance to put the­ory into prac­tice in a group en­gi­neer­ing ex­er­cise.

Stu­dents also quizzed the air­line’s fe­male en­gi­neer­ing team from man­agers and me­chan­ics to ap­pren­tices and grad­u­ates about their ex­pe­ri­ence of main­tain­ing BA’s fleet of 270 short and long haul air­craft.

BA di­rec­tor of en­gi­neer­ing, Andy Ker­swill, added: “Ini­tia­tives like the Bri­tish Air­ways En­gi­neer­ing ap­pren­tice­ship and grad­u­ate pro­grammes can pro­vide a per­fect path into a re­ally re­ward­ing ca­reer for any­one – male or fe­male.

“I have per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence of this as I`m proud to say my el­dest daugh­ter, Holly, joined the air­line’s en­gi­neer­ing ap­pren­tice­ship scheme four years ago and is now work­ing within our en­gi­neer­ing busi­ness de­vel­op­ment team.”

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