International Women’s Day – Devon College spotlights marine engineering

A Devon university at the forefront of helping women break into marine engineering is celebrating International Women’s Day this week.

South Devon College wants to help change the perception of the maritime industry by encouraging more women to work in the sector.

Currently, women make up 14.5% of all engineers, but there has been an increase in recent years. An increase which Harriette Wade-West, a marine lecturer at South Devon College, has seen reflected in the Marine Academy student body.

“We are seeing more and more female students taking marine courses, in engineering as well as boat building and other disciplines. It’s really encouraging to see, and it’s great to be there. vanguard of this change.

“Pursuing a career in the maritime sector is a great choice for women because there are so many options and opportunities for a challenging career, with the ability to work anywhere in the world.”

Working alongside Princess Yachts, one of the world’s leading boat builders, South Devon College offers marine engineering apprenticeships and the gender balance is changing.

“We have achieved a 25/75 female/male split and a 50/50 split seems more likely and this will revolutionize the marine industry,” said Alison Thompson, Head of Learning and Development at Princess Yachts.

Charlotte Hewitson who is inspired by the many opportunities is marine engineering

Charlotte Hewitson, 20, from Plymouth, studied engineering at university but only recently decided to major in marine engineering. She is now apprenticed to Princess Yachts, which involves a day of study at South Devon College.

“My industry inspires me because there are so many opportunities and experiences across the industry, not just in my current job but as a whole. I also love how the jobs vary and there is a wide range of jobs, including mechanical and electrical.

I hope to complete my apprenticeship at Princess Yachts and expand my knowledge, skills and experience.

Freya Wood who plans to travel the world with her marine engineering degreeFreya Wood who plans to travel the world with her marine engineering degree

Freya Wood, 19, is also part of the Princess Yachts marine engineering apprenticeship programme. She appreciates the practical side of the job and the fact that it is then supported by her studies at college.

“I love engineering because you can see the work you’ve done, even when it’s small jobs, it’s nice to see it and just think ‘I did that’ and have a physical reminder of the work you do.”

Freya, who has been interested in engineering since the age of 13 after participating in a professional event, hopes to travel the world with her skills and live in different countries.

Charlotte and Freya are studying at the specialist Marine Academy at South Devon College, which is moving to Noss on Dart next month.

In the planning for 10 years, South Devon Marine Academy aims to fill the skills gap in the maritime sector and provide students with a dynamic and flexible education with strong industry connections.

“The maritime sector is expected to grow by 15% between 2019 and 2023,” explained Harriette Wade-West.

The academy is perfectly placed to support academic study with hands-on delivery on the water and offers students of all ages top-notch facilities including a marine engineering workshop, research and design facility and simulator. of bridge.

For those wishing to pursue higher level qualifications, the Marine Academy also offers two foundation degrees, Marine Technologies and Maritime Leadership and Vessel Management, which is currently in an exciting phase of redevelopment.

Next month, on April 1st, to celebrate the International Day of Women in the Sea 2022, an event will be held at South Devon College’s Hi Tech & Digital Centre. It is aimed at young women interested in a career in the maritime sector. Starting at 9:45 a.m., various activities are planned, including a talk by Holly Manvell of Sea Cleaners, building a boat activity and a virtual reality regatta experience.

More information here

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