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DUNFERMLINE women are proving that engineering is not just jobs for the boys.
At the Fife Ethylene Plant at Mossmorran, more and more females are choosing to make a career in the field.
In the last decade the number of females joining the apprenticeship programme has seen a steady rise.
Niamh Blanski, 19, a former Queen Anne High pupil, is a third-year electrical technician apprentice.
Ahead of International Women’s Day on Sunday, Niamh explained how she found working in a male-dominated environment.
She said: “I didn’t know what I wanted to do until the start of S4 when my brother did an apprenticeship and I thought that sounded ideal. I looked into it and applied for the ExxonMobil scheme and was lucky enough to be accepted.
“I left school at the end of S5 and started my apprenticeship at Forth Valley College in 2017.
“I would encourage any girl who is thinking about a career in engineering to go for it. It’s led me into this great career.
“When I was deciding what subjects to take for my Highers, a lot of my pals didn’t want to do maths and science because they would be the only girls taking them.
“There were only two or three other females in my classes but that really didn’t bother me and I’ve never regretted it.
“I am hoping to have a great career here at FEP.”
Laura Neville, 27, is a process planner at FEP, with responsibilities for the day-to-day running of the plant, both from the control room and in the field.
She lives in Dunfermline with husband Vaughn and their dog, Ted.
She left school with Highers in maths, chemistry, English, German and business but the route to her dream job wasn’t a straightforward one.
“At school it was always maths and chemistry I was interested in because I was always very technically-minded,” Laura said.
“I decided to go to university to study maths because at that point I wanted to be a maths teacher but I quickly realised I wasn’t ready for uni and I left after the first year.
“Before I left school in S4, I had applied for an apprenticeship here but I wasn’t successful and, after leaving university, I got a job here at FEP in administration.
“When my boss heard that I was really interested in being an engineer and had previously applied for an apprenticeship, he encouraged me to change.
“In 2012, I started an apprenticeship in process engineering and I’ve never looked back.
“I got a permanent job in 2015 and I really enjoy the challenges my job brings every day.
“You are always having to think on your feet and it is good to have a challenge and not get bored.
“There were three girls out of about 20 on my college course and we weren’t treated any differently from the boys.
“I would encourage any girls thinking of an engineering career to follow their dreams. They won’t regret it.”
To celebrate International Women’s Day a group of local women are shining a light on Dunfermline Women past and present who have made and are currently making an impact locally and internationally.
The pop-up exhibition on Dunfermline Women: Past and Present will be in the Kingsgate on Sunday 8 March 10.30am-4.00pm. Come along discover and share your stories and nominate your inspirational Dunfermline Women.