Trio are tremendous examples of females in engineering – Auto Republish

Trio are tremendous examples of females in engineering

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MOST people believe that engineering is still very much a male profession.

But at the Mossmorran Fife Ethylene Plant, 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.

And as International Women’s Day approaches this weekend, we found out from three females, at differing stages of their FEP careers, how they have found working in a male dominated environment.

Niamh Blanski (19), is a third year Electrical Technician apprentice. She attended Queen Anne High School in Dunfermline where her favourite subjects were maths and physics – because she was good at them.

She completed four Highers in Maths, English, Physics and Graphic Communication.

Niamh explained: “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.”

Zoe Smith (22), is a Machinery Technician at FEP. She began full-time work at the plant last September after completing a four-year apprenticeship.

She says she didn’t like school and left with Standard Grades in Craft and Design and Physics and an Int. 2 in Maths.

“I always fancied a career in engineering and I found out about the apprenticeship programme when I went along to a careers fair at school,” said Zoe.

“I did my apprenticeship at Rosyth Dockyard and was one of the last people to do it there.

“It was tough going as I didn’t have Higher Maths like some of the other apprentices. But I knew that if I wanted to get a good job at the end I would have to work extra hard, so I did.

“Although there were only two girls out of around 30 in my college class, it didn’t faze me at all. It just made me more determined to succeed!

“When I got told I had a full-time job here I was over the moon and I am loving my work.”

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. 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, said Laura.”

She left school with Highers in Maths, Chemistry, English, German and Business.

“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, 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 would encourage any girls thinking of an engineering career to follow their dreams. They won’t regret it.”

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Resident-led action group seeking redress from the long-term social, health and environmental impacts from the Mossmorran facilities in Central Fife operated by ExxonMobil (Fife Ethylene Plant) and Shell (Fife NGL).


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