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Ministers Visit Engineering Session For Young Women At Oxford's Mini Plant

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LONDON – Nov 1, 2013: Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock visited MINI Plant Oxford to meet 30 young women from across the UK as part of a government drive to encourage female students to consider a career in engineering.

Mr Hancock was joined by Employment Minister Esther McVey to meet participants in the Girls Go Technical programme which is part of a week-long taster in the government-industry ‘See Inside Manufacturing’ initiative. BMW Group’s manufacturing sites at Oxford, Swindon and Hams Hall near Birmingham opened their doors to give secondary school students a chance to learn about the industry and what engineering is all about, while gaining first-hand experience from females from across the business.

Mr Hancock was introduced to second-year Oxford apprentice, Philippa Napier, who showed him around the plant’s state-of-the-art training school and introduced him to a group of young women trying their hand at a range of engineering challenges.

Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock said: "It was great to meet so many engaged young people keen to find out what a career in the automotive sector would look like. ‘See Inside Manufacturing’ gives young people the opportunity to see exactly how manufacturing works on a day to day basis, dispelling old myths about factories and inspiring the next generation of engineers."

Simon Farrall, head of apprentice and associate training for BMW Group UK, who hosted the visit to training school, said: “We are delighted that the Minister was able to visit our training facility and meet some of our own current and potentially future female apprentices. We hope that these young women will see the huge range of opportunities on offer. We want to explode the myth that engineering is not for women.”

Engineering apprentice Philippa Napier said: “Girls are often put off from pursuing a career in this industry because there’s a perception that all engineers are like mechanics. Engineering is not all about oily overalls and dirty fingernails; there are so many varied opportunities in manufacturing and I hope that more young women will be tempted to give it a go.”