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East Anglia Future 50

Young female high-fliers encouraged into aviation careers

PUBLISHED: 12:09 04 March 2019 | UPDATED: 12:09 04 March 2019

Aviation Minister, Liz Sugg, meeting with youngsters at Stansted Airport  Picture: TONY PICK

Aviation Minister, Liz Sugg, meeting with youngsters at Stansted Airport Picture: TONY PICK

© 2017 Tony Pick

A bid to address the shortage of women in aviation-related careers has been launched at Stansted airport.

Liz Sugg with children from Thaxted Primary School  Picture: TONY PICKLiz Sugg with children from Thaxted Primary School Picture: TONY PICK

Aviation minister Liz Sugg met with young female students at Stansted Airport College ahead of International Women’s Day and looked at the work the aiport does to encourage girls into aviation careers.

The minister, who is calling on the aviation sector to address the shortage of women in aviation-related careers, was welcomed by college students, visiting girls from Thaxted Primary School, and female apprentices and women on the airport owner Manchester Airports Group (MAG) graduate scheme.

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She spoke about career ideas with the younger children and met female students who are all studying aviation-specific courses at the newly-opened college on-site at London Stansted, while easyJet pilot Sarah Smartt talked to students about her career as a pilot.

“Aviation employs more than 230,000 people across the UK, but it’s vital that the sector makes the best use of talent in this country,” said Ms Sugg.

easyJet pilot Sarah Smartt (3rd from left), Liz Austin, London Stansted HR director (4th  from left), aviation minister Liz Sugg (5th from left) with some of London Stansted�s current apprentices  Picture: TONY PICKeasyJet pilot Sarah Smartt (3rd from left), Liz Austin, London Stansted HR director (4th from left), aviation minister Liz Sugg (5th from left) with some of London Stansted�s current apprentices Picture: TONY PICK

“There are already some great initiatives underway to attract more women into the industry, but we need to do more. Last week I had the pleasure of seeing first-hand the work London Stansted does through its range of education programmes, which have helped inspire thousands of women and young girls over the last three years.

“Ahead of this year’s International Women’s Day, we are calling on the aviation industry to pledge action to address this gap.”

Stansted’ HR director Liz Austin said her organisation fully supported the government’s drive to increase the number of women in these roles.

“Stansted Airport College was created to build pipeline of future talent and works hard to promote the many exciting opportunities open to girls in aviation, from engineering to cabin crew. Along with our Aerozone education centre for younger children, we’re proud of the part London Stansted is playing in inspiring the next generation of the aviation workforce and look forward to seeing an increase in the representation of women in all sectors,” she said.

Younsters at the minister�s visit including Stansted Airport College principal Karen Spence (1st on right)  Picture: TONY PICKYounsters at the minister�s visit including Stansted Airport College principal Karen Spence (1st on right) Picture: TONY PICK

Stansted Airport College principal Karen Spencer said they had had an “amazing day”.

“With around only 8% of engineers and pilots being females it’s really important to work with girls from an early age to inspire them to think about aviation and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). All our young visitors left the building buzzing with questions and a desire to learn more.”

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