Apprenticeship Week Celebrated: Renfrewshire is marking Scottish Apprenticeship Week with a series of events designed to encourage young women to consider careers in traditionally male dominated sectors.
The week celebrates the benefits apprenticeships bring to businesses, individuals and the economy, and coincides with International Women’s Day on Thursday.
Apprentice greenkeeper Heather Love is used to being one of the few women in her role but hopes more will follow in her footsteps.
The 21-year has been working at Barshaw Public Golf Course since 2016, when she started an apprenticeship with Renfrewshire Council .
The former Park Mains High pupil from Erskine, helps maintain the grounds and equipment, as well as tending the greens.
Heather also attends a Sports Turf course at specialist centre Gosta Training in Glasgow and said: “I’ve always enjoyed working outside and wanted to be a gardener originally. When I saw this apprenticeship advertised I decided to go for it, especially as the role wasn’t seasonal but all year.
“As well as working outdoors it also sent me to college, so the apprenticeship means that I get the best of both worlds.
“There’s always plenty to do, I prune, sweep leaves and cut the greens and tees and make sure they are tidy and look after machinery.
“I’ve also had experience on football pitches and bowling greens. It’s still quite a man’s world although there is another woman on another team that I don’t work with directly.
“My favourite part of the job is working outside – quiet mornings and sunrises are the best and I find it satisfying seeing a freshly cut green.”
Heather says she hopes that more women will find the confidence to pursue traditionally male dominated careers.
She added: “There are only a handful of women doing this and I hope more women will apply.
“Learning something completely new is great and I love playing a part in something much bigger and being a female in a male dominated field.
“We are built differently to men and sometimes I do have to work a bit harder to lift things for example but I’d say to any other females who are thinking about a similar career or apprenticeship to just to go for it.”
There will be a series of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) events for young women at various venues across Renfrewshire.
The Young Women into Stem initiative is being delivered in partnership by Renfrewshire Council, DYW West, Invest in Renfrewshire, West College Scotland and a number of local businesses.
It was set up to address how women are underrepresented in the sector and encourages them to apply for apprenticeships by forging links between employers, colleges and schools.
At West College Scotland’s Paisley campus this week, students will complete specific pieces of work which will enhance their skillset, covering bricklaying and painting and decorating.
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde are hosting an event on Thursday at Paisley’s Royal Alexandria Hospital where school pupils will visit the engineering departments, clinics and laboratories and will be given an insight into the various job roles.
They will also hear about the apprenticeship opportunities available.
Morrison Construction will take students on a tour of the St Paul’s School site in Paisley to give an understanding of what is required to keep the project on track and to deliver a high quality build.
One of Morrison’s female quantity surveyors will also be on-hand to share her experience of working within this sector.
Paisley firm Clark Contacts will give students a tour of its head office where they will learn about the company’s in house academy and the roles available, from estimating and quantity surveying to marketing.
They will meet also many of the firms female employees and have the opportunity to discuss their experience of the sector.
Rolls Royce Inchinnan is hosting a site visit of its engineering plant on International Women’s Day, with all attendees asked to wear purple to mark the day which celebrates women across the globe.
Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “In line with the rest of Scotland, Renfrewshire has a significant gender gap in terms of so few young women going into the traditionally male dominated careers of construction, science, technology and engineering .
“It’s vital to open up their horizons and provide access to STEM opportunities and I’m delighted that so many will have the chance to find out about a wide range of jobs during Scottish Apprenticeship Week.”
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