- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
ASSEMBLY MEMBERS Joyce Watson and Keith Davies joined local school pupils at Parc y Scarlets last week for a day of activities to promote ‘Tomorrow’s Engineers’ week (2 November – 6 November).
The event was organised by ICE Wales Cymru, the Institution of Civil Engineers, as part of its South Wales Engineering Team Challenge 2015.
Year 9 students from Amman Valley School, Ysgol Gyfun Y Strade, Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Bro Myrddin, Ysgol Brodinefwr, Ysgol Glan-y-Mor, Coedcae School, as well as Tenby’s Ysgol Greenhill School, attended the session.
Guided by industry professionals, the students undertook a number of engineering challenges including competing to build the tallest house of cards and sturdiest coastal defence structure. Julie James AM, Welsh Government Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology, delivered the keynote speech.
Joyce Watson is chair of the Welsh Assembly’s cross-party group for the construction industry. She said:
“I am very grateful to ICE for inviting me to participate in this fantastic event. I don’t know if the house of cards challenge was for the benefit of us visiting politicians, but it was excellent – demonstrating how engineering solutions can be applied to everyday problems.”
“Tomorrow’s Engineers is all about encouraging young people – boys and girls – especially those with an interest in the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths), to think about civil engineering careers.
Mrs Watson continued:
“Over the past five years Welsh Government has supported over 110,000 good quality apprenticeships with a success rate well over 80%. In west Wales we have the pioneering Cyfle Building Skills shared apprenticeship model. However, women still account for just 3% of engineering apprentices, so there is huge potential for future growth.”
On Thursday (5 November), the Labour Mid and West AM chaired a second ICE-organised event at Cardiff University, Breaking Down the Barriers: lip service to equality or long term business case? Attendees, including representatives of Alun Griffiths Contractors Ltd, the firm delivering the Newtown Bypass project, discussed how the sector can promote greater gender balance and workforce diversity.