Next Stop: Women in Rail


Next Stop: Women in Rail

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As we approach ‘Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day’, Primary Engineer® is working to bring the wonders of rail into nursery, primary and secondary schools. In their ‘Back on Track’ 2020 report, City & Guilds Group and the National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR) found that only 24% of women would consider a career in rail, with 84% of current employees being male. Additionally, over 28% of workers in the current rail force are older than 50 and reaching retirement, making the efforts to introduce wider demographics is all the more important. To improve the rail sector and launch new innovations, billions are being pumped into the industry over the next decade. By introducing young minds to the evolving wonders of engineering, gender-balance and STEM confidence can be improved. Addressing this bias is one of Primary Engineer’s main aims, as a generation of innovative pupils are unaware of the excitement of a career within engineering.

In a sector that never stops moving, Primary Engineer® and NSAR are trusted by multiple organisations to coordinate efforts in attracting and encouraging new talent into the rail sector. Through exciting programmes and competitions, Primary Engineer® is passionate about building STEM confidence and introducing school pupils to the wider world of engineering. With a multitude of careers involving professional services, IT, technology, project management, operations, engineering and train driving, there is a place for everyone within rail.

Women in Rail is particularly important to ‘Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day’, as their shared initiative with Primary Engineer® hopes to introduce female school pupils to the wonders of engineering. Women in Rail was created to improve diversity in the UK rail industry, providing networking opportunities and support for all women within the sector. Encouraging employers and stakeholders to adopt this approach within their organisation diversifies their workforce and attracts young people into the career choice. In all, this effectively combats the aging demographic of rail, gender-imbalance and stereotypes surrounding the industry.

Through CPD courses, competitions and events, Primary Engineer® is pushing engineering into the periphery of nursery, primary and secondary schools. The Primary Engineer® ‘Rail Project’ is a fully funded project that includes, a one-day practical CPD course with two class kit resources for pupils to build, access to teaching support materials to enable up to two teachers to deliver a whole-class, curriculum-mapped engineering rail project. Teachers are partnered with an engineering professional, working with both the teacher and their class to develop both practical and cognitive skills. Primary Engineer® aims to develop an awareness of STEM in the classroom, introduce an understanding of rail-orientated engineering, as well as build a career interest. Teachers interested in the Primary Engineer® Rail Project CPD course, can learn more and register here.

Misconceptions are rife within the engineering field, which NSAR and City & Guild attribute to lack of awareness or interest in school. Starting from the educational source is just one of the methods Primary Engineer® is taking to bring STEM into the periphery of schools. Encouraging teachers to take CPD courses like Primary Engineer’s introduces engineering to the classroom, stealthily bringing pupils into the world of engineering and rail. To find out more about Primary Engineer’s programmes and competitions, and to get involved visit:

About Primary Engineer® 

Primary Engineer is an educational not-for-profit organisation that provides a suite of programmes to encourage children from 3 to 19 years to consider STEM and engineering careers. Primary Engineer inspires children, pupils, parents and teachers through continued professional development courses, whole class project work, competitions, and engagement with engineers and industry professionals to ensure the learning has a context to the wider world. Primary Engineer addresses the diversity and gender imbalance in engineering with early years, primary and secondary pupils.



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