Christmas celebrations started early for two apprentices from the MTC’s Lloyds Bank Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre (AMTC) in Coventry, as they joined a prestigious gathering at the Houses of Parliament last week, hosted by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Women in Parliament.
Kerry Smith and Tilly Brogden, who are both training on an advanced engineering apprenticeship at the AMTC, were invited to the reception by Lloyds Banking Group to meet politicians and share their career aspirations with other leading female figures in the business world.
Mims Davies MP, who has a particular interest in increasing women in STEM careers, chairs the Group. Guests also included the Secretary of State for Education, Nicky Morgan MP and the Foreign Office Minister, Baroness Anelay of St. Johns.
As well as promoting and campaigning to increase the number of women in Parliament, the APPG was formed to encourage more women to become involved in public life.
With the current engineering skills shortage in this country; and women engineers accounting for just 6% of the workforce in the UK – the lowest percentage of women engineers in Europe – attracting females into the profession has traditionally been a major challenge for British industry.
The MTC has a higher than average percentage of female engineers across the business, as well as female apprentices and graduate trainees; all of whom are actively involved in encouraging more girls to consider engineering in their school subject and career choices.
“It was a huge honour to be invited to the Houses of Parliament for this reception,” Kerry said. “It was a great opportunity to discuss why we chose an engineering apprenticeship and discuss how we could encourage more females into the profession. We explained how the Tilly Shilling initiative at the MTC has been set up to work closely with schools, science clubs and colleges to help show how exciting, diverse and rewarding a career in engineering can be.”
“There was a great amount of interest in what we are doing as part of our engineering apprenticeship; people were really excited to see females in engineering,” added Tilly. “It was also inspiring to hear the different experiences and career paths of the other women.”
Karin Cook, Group Director, Operations at Lloyds Banking Group, said: “Kerry and Tilly are excellent ambassadors for women in engineering and for apprenticeships. They provided a great insight into the future of manufacturing in the UK and how the MTC’s Lloyds Bank AMTC will train and inspire the next generation of engineers – many of whom we hope will be women!
“I’m pleased that we could support the event so that by working together in business, in Whitehall and in Parliament, we can achieve real change.”