Portsmouth Maritime Roadshow

The first of the 1851 Trust’s Maritime Roadshow for Girls in Partnership with the Department for Transport got off to a flying start in Portsmouth.

120 girls aged 11-14, from state schools in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, visited the 1851 Trust at the home of INEOS TEAM UK in Portsmouth for a fun, interactive day of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) in a maritime context.

It is widely accepted that there is a forecast shortage of skilled STEM workers. In addition, women are significantly under-represented in technical and engineering careers and the gender divide is clearly seen in school subject choices. The WISE campaign report than women make up just 22% of the STEM Career workforce, whilst the Maritime Skills Alliance report that women make just 21% of serving seafarers in the UK.

Under the Department for Transport, The Government have launched their long-term strategy ‘Maritime 2050’. At the heart of Government there is a vision for the maritime industry’s workforce. Within three decades they want to create a diverse workforce that is equipped with the right skills and is able to nimbly adapt to rapidly changing technology.  To realise this vision, they urge industry take action now and do more to enthuse young girls about STEM subjects and maritime careers at sea and on shore.

In helping to promote Maritime careers, the aims of the Roadshow day seek to increase; participation, contribution and confidence of girls in STEM subjects at school; whilst introducing them to positive and inspiring female Maritime role models.

One of the day’s Role Models, BAE Systems Maintenance Engineer Rachel Barrett explained:

“Today I have been part of the Team delivering the My Skills, My Life workshop which was started by the WISE campaign. We have been showing girls the different personality types that there are and the skills which are there for STEM careers. What I have seen today has been amazing, the girls have been really engaged. These events give them insights into what job opportunities there are out there – most of which they didn’t know about.”

As a result of their experience, it is hoped that the day has empowered the girls to make informed choices about potential further education and career paths; whilst inspiring them to continue studying STEM subjects beyond Key Stage 3 and to consider a career in the maritime sector.

Lavin Abdulkarin, 12 who attends Milton Cross Academy commented:

I have really enjoyed today, it has been really interesting. I really enjoyed meeting the female role models, I now have a better idea of what I want to do in the future.”

Lavin’s Teacher Helen King (of Milton Cross Academy) added:

“Days like today are really important, getting girls into STEM is really key. The hands-on activities were really great, and I think it was really important to have role models here for the girls to interact with.”

The inspiring Roadshow days incorporate; hands on exhibits based on America’s Cup technologies, speed networking sessions with Role Models, growth mindset workshops as well as a panel discussion to understand the varied career journey, challenges and rewards of different Maritime careers both on and off the water.

Following this event in Portsmouth the Roadshow will head to a number of UK coastal cities, including: Dover, Newcastle and Blackpool with the support of leading Maritime Organisations, including; Maritime UK, The Royal Navy and The Women in Maritime Taskforce,

To find out more about the Maritime Roadshow for Girls programme, please visit: www.1851trust.org.uk/projects/girls-stem-day/

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