Around 60 female pupils from schools in Hammersmith , Ealing , Hounslow , Harrow , Hayes and Richmond entered the hangar doors on Tuesday (March 8), where they saw engineers hard at work on multi-million-pound aircraft, and learnt more about the opportunities open to them.
The special visit, which also ties in with National Careers Week, is aimed at inspiring the next generation of women engineers.
The schools involved are Greenford High School, Ealing; Park High School, Stanmore; Hewens College, Hayes; Latymer Upper School, Hammersmith; The Heathland School, Hounslow; Twickenham Academy and Hampton Academy in Richmond.
BA general manager engineering, Joanna James, said: “Days like today can help more girls and women learn first-hand about maintenance and engineering roles, and highlight opportunities open to them in the industry.
“We hope to show that it is just as much a career for women as it is for men, and one which I would strongly recommend.”
Putting theory into practice
During the visit, the teenage girls, aged 14 to 16, met senior BA engineers including Ms James, as well as short-haul engineering fleet chief, Helen McCarry and the airline’s director of engineering, Andy Kerswill, who provided advice on how to get into the industry.
Following a tour of the Heathrow engineering facility, the girls got a chance to put theory into practice in a group engineering exercise.
Students also quizzed the airline’s female engineering team from managers and mechanics to apprentices and graduates about their experience of maintaining BA’s fleet of 270 short and long haul aircraft.
BA director of engineering, Andy Kerswill, added: “Initiatives like the British Airways Engineering apprenticeship and graduate programmes can provide a perfect path into a really rewarding career for anyone – male or female.
“I have personal experience of this as I`m proud to say my eldest daughter, Holly, joined the airline’s engineering apprenticeship scheme four years ago and is now working within our engineering business development team.”