Later this month, Openreach will open the doors of its Livingston training school to celebrate International Women in Engineering Day.
Local families will be invited along to the training centre to get a taste of life as an engineer between noon and 2.30pm on Sunday 23rd. The announcement marks the first time the training school has been open to the public since its £485,000 revamp was unveiled earlier this year.
Organisers have planned a host of activities for the open day, with engineering-related games, challenges and activities for attendees. Other activities include a ‘dress like an engineer’ selfie station, a ‘draw an engineer’ competition and tower building.
A series of ‘show and tell’ sessions will provide visitors with an insight into how the internet reaches homes, the equipment contained in an Openreach van and also how engineers scale poles.
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Openreach organiser, Carol Buchanan, commented: “By the time our children go to school they already have views of which roles are for men and which are for women. To give our kids the best range of opportunities and to attract lots of talented females to engineering, we need to do our bit.
“We want people to bring their family and friends along to help us spark an interest in engineering with both girls and boys. This Open Day is a great opportunity to come and see for yourself what a career in engineering looks like.”
Female engineers will be on hand throughout the open day to talk about their careers and showcase some of the high-tech equipment they use on a day-to-day basis.
Visitors will also be able to explore the newly-constructed “Open Street” – a replica street built from scratch at the centre where engineers practice their skills in a real-life setting.
The training centre open day comes amid ongoing efforts by Openreach to attract a diverse workforce. Last year, more female engineers joined than in previous years. Recruitment of people from black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds has also increased from 11% in 2017 to 17% in 2018.
Emma Hamilton, an Edinburgh-based engineer with Openreach, said: “A career in engineering is extremely rewarding and we hope the open day will help girls to realise it’s a realistic option. It’s still a largely male-dominated career, but times are most definitely changing.
“Being an engineer for Openreach is a fantastic job and one that I really enjoy. You’re always working with brand new technology which is exciting, and there’s huge satisfaction from fixing complex issues and getting people connected.”