Yorkshire Water played host to education sessions which they were offering for free on June 23rd 2016. These free sessions were aimed specifically at female pupils who would like to explore careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The company supported the third annual Women in Engineering Day on the 23rd, through their hosting of 10 sessions at their Headingley Water Treatment Works in Leeds; this to try and boost the numbers of skilled female engineers choosing a career in the water sector.
By the end of the week, no less than 265 year 6 and year 7 female students in total had learnt more about the exciting career paths in those fields directly from female employees working at Yorkshire Water. The sessions were very interactive, giving pupils the unique chance to pose some questions to Yorkshire Water’s female employees about their experiences, including graduates and apprentices who work in operational roles.
To sweeten the deal, the pupils got to go on the very popular guided tour of Headingley Water Treatment Works, where they got an inside view of the water cleaning process and how Yorkshire Water provides its customers with a consistent supply of fresh drinking water.
Shilpi Arora, Talent Adviser at Yorkshire Water and who organised the sessions said, “We want to inspire female students in primary school and year 7 of upper school to consider careers in engineering, science, technology and maths. We really hope that these sessions will encourage female students to consider these roles when they are beginning high school and when they choose their optional subjects a few years down the line.”
Early signs of what would grow into a successful event were evident when a couple of students who had attended the first sessions commented in the affirmative.
Holly Swann from Allerton High School said, “It was really fun finding out about what is used to treat the water and especially how it is filtered. A lot of jobs would make you think it is just about water and for males but the sessions have made me see the different aspects like IT. In the future I would consider a career in this discipline.”
Alina Ali from the Featherstone Academy commented, “It was quite encouraging because it wasn’t just to do with water but is about technology, computers and engineering. There are lots of opportunities for girls and I will definitely be thinking about a career in this field.”
Scenes emerging from the various stages throughout the event include students listening to a quick opening brief about Yorkshire Water and the careers they have available. Further scenes which epitomised the event zone-in on the inside of Headingly Water Treatment Works, with students getting a full brief of the water treatment process involved. They checked out the clarification phase of the process, during which chemicals are added to act as an adhesive for dirt and bacteria. A jelly-like substance then forms as a result, known as floc, which then floats to the surface of the water after some air bubbles are passed through the tanks.