Shortage of Girls for Engineering and Science Industries
On Friday 13th March, BBC Television's Breakfast News featured an item on the shortage of girls entering the engineering and science industries.
The report focused on the need for schools to do much more to encourage girls to work in these traditionally male-dominated industries. Women are the answer to a national shortage of scientists and engineers, if they could be persuaded to consider them as careers.
Falmouth Marine School always encourages pupils of all abilities, whether male of female to find out more about their courses. In recent years the College has seen a marked increase in the number of girls enrolling on its courses in particular Marine Engineering, Marine Science and Boatbuilding.
Katy Wariner on her second year on the Marine Science Foundation degree said: "I joined the Marine Science Foundation Degree at Falmouth Marine School two weeks late in Oct 2007. I was made to feel really welcome and all staff, tutors and fellow students were on hand and happy to help whenever needed. There is a wide range of ages and abilities on all the courses and everyone pulls together to get through!"
Amy Rugg-Easy enrolled on the Introduction to Boatbuilding NVQ1 also in 2007. After graduating last July she is now on the Traditional Boatbuilding C&G3 course at the College. She commented: "I have always been interested in woodwork but wanted to go for something a little more complex than simple joinery. The course has really helped lay down the foundations and build up my confidence on both the woodwork and theory side. It has been nice getting to know my classmates throughout the year, who have been a good mix of the young and not so young who came from all over the country. Everyone has been really friendly and the tutors are really helpful."
Tina Vleminckx, Marine Engineering Tutor at Falmouth Marine School has never looked back in her choice of career. She began by studying A-levels but did not enjoy the purely academic aspect. She then completed a National Diploma in Nursery Nursing before realising what she really wanted was a practical career. She joined the Royal Navy and trained as an aircraft engineer and keen to travel she transferred to marine engineering. She then spent seven years travelling the world on navy ships going to amongst others the Caribbean, the Falkland's and the Mediterranean. She said: "I was based on HMS Ark Royal, HMS Southampton and HMS Nottingham. We had a variety of duties including disaster relief such as helping to build an orphanage in Africa."
After nine years in the Navy, Tina returned to her home in Cornwall and joined Falmouth Marine School to teach others who also wanted a practical career in marine engineering. She continued: "There are more females applying to practical courses across the board. There are no bridges for females in this industry. Once they graduate, all students have the same opportunities as long as they are willing and enthusiastic about what they do."
Dave Linnell OBE, Principal of Cornwall College commented: "At Cornwall College we run variety of practical course at all levels. Our Science and Engineering courses are extremely popular and concentrate on the practical aspect."