University Head drives transport careers for women

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TXM Recruit News, Women in Transport

Working in the transport sector is a popular choice however the industry still faces issues attracting women into this stereotypically male dominated profession.

Birmingham City University's Professor and Head of School of Engineering and the Built Environment Gareth Neighbour shares these concerns.

“We are wanting to help young people, particularly women, to follow the career path of working in transport.” Claims Gareth Neighbour.

Neighbour has been attending events hosted at schools across the UK in the hopes of increasing awareness of the industry by introducing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) courses.

The most recent event, at an all-girls school in Milton Keynes, he attended in person to share his thoughts on the industry in the hopes of succeeding in increasing numbers.

He shared: “I thoroughly enjoyed the last event I attended. It was very well organised and that is where the success of it lies.

“Such a professionally organised event demonstrates how serious we are about the message we are sharing.

“The lady in charge worked very hard to bring in various stakeholders and organisations, and to provide a great experience to the best students as well as families and friends.

“I think that it was definitely worthwhile and successful.

“It excited, motivated and inspired people. That is key, if you can inspire people by telling stories, anecdotes and experiences, then they can relate to that.

“This is one way of how we have been attracting women in to the industry by sending the correct message to them during these events and get them signed up on to our courses to begin their journey working in transport.”

In addition to increasing awareness of STEM, Neighbour supports apprenticeships and the approach they provide; however, his intentions are to aim for more, which he believes will deliver better results.

“I think that apprenticeships are very important, but I try to take them a level further.” Neighbour said.

“I think what’s more important is employer led education, the two key words there are ‘employer’ and ‘education’.

“Sometimes the two mix, which is fine. Apprenticeships though, can occasionally include too much training and not enough education and we have to get the right balance.

“So, having that employer led education, helps us make sure that we provide graduates with the right skills, knowledge and understanding that can be used from day one.

To find out more on how TXM Recruit are going The Xtra Mile for Women in Engineering or for career opportunities in the industry visit www.txmrecruit.co.uk.