It’s no secret that manufacturing and construction has typically been a male-dominated industry. But, increasingly, this is an outdated and inaccurate stereotype.
With strong leadership from some of Northern Ireland's foremost firms, we're seeing a more inclusive and attractive environment being created for those who haven't typically been represented within the sector.
Historically it has proven difficult to encourage women into construction and engineering roles but with the focus on STEM in the education sector and the strength of the local construction and manufacturing sector here, it is increasingly becoming an attractive and viable option.
At MJM Marine, the females within our team play a vital role in our success and have a strong presence throughout our operations. We are thrilled to have taken on our first female apprentice in bench joinery this year and we hope in 2020 to recruit even more female apprentices in both MJM Marine and Mivan through our recently launched Navigate Programme.
One of our key strategic focuses is talent management and development. Some of our senior team, including our chairman and chief executive, started out as apprentices. We genuinely believe in apprenticeship schemes and student placements, investing time and effort in our staff and their development, and attracting and developing the best manufacturing and engineering talent.
The Navigate Programme is our student recruitment and engagement brand which we have recently launched which will produce a steady stream of highly-skilled, talented young people who will be equipped with the tools they need to lead the sector in the future.
Our placement, apprentice and graduate intake in September will be the first group to embark on this programme and we hope through an integrated approach with local schools, colleges and universities that we can promote the world of opportunities the manufacturing and construction industry can offer to young people, and young women in particular, as they enter the world of work.
A key focus of Manufacturing Month, which runs until the end of March (details at www.manufacturingmonthni.com) will be promoting manufacturing and engineering as a viable and attractive career option for young women. It will also provide a pathway for the next generation of industry leaders.
This initiative is a wonderful opportunity for businesses across Northern Ireland to showcase their local knowledge and expertise, promote a vast array of career choices and opportunities in the sector, and demonstrate that the industry is welcome to all.
There truly is something for everyone, and with the evolution of digitalisation and artificial intelligence in the sector, we are seeing a shift in the skills required to keep our businesses at the forefront of innovation and Industry 4.0.
This article was first seen on http://www.irishnews.com/business/2020/03/03/news/developing-the-next-generation-of-female-manufacturers-1854660/