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Female secondary school pupils are being encouraged to build careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) sectors thanks to a Skills Development Scotland (SDS) project.

Pupils from Calderside Academy and Cathkin High School in South Lanarkshire were the latest to get hands-on industry experience with visits to employers.

The visits are aimed at encouraging female pupils to widen their career options and to consider Modern Apprenticeships.

Engineering firms Rolls-Royce in Renfrew, GE Aviation in Prestwick and motor industry training provider LAGTA in Motherwell all opened their doors to provide taster-sessions and role model talks.

Pupils also got the chance to build rockets and create a computer game at City of Glasgow College’s engineering department.

The series of ‘Why Not Get Into...’ activity aims to get more young women to consider careers in STEM related roles.

Figures show an inequality of uptake of STEM subjects by young women in Modern Apprenticeships, higher and further education.

When young women do take on a STEM subject, 73 per cent do not go on to a STEM occupation.  Only 13 per cent of all STEM jobs in the UK taken on by women.

SDS is working with industry partners to better understand the barriers women face in order to work with partners to address gender imbalances in key sectors.

SDS previously delivered construction work taster activities for female pupils in Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire and also the ‘Girls into Digital World’ event in Edinburgh.

SDS Head of National Training Programmes Development, Karen Murray, said:

“SDS is committed to working with partners and employers to improve equality and diversity in Modern Apprenticeships.

“It’s important to ensure everyone has the same access to opportunities no matter their background.

“The activities and role model talks within the event are about encouraging more women to consider a career in engineering and ultimately, improving access to Modern Apprenticeships.”

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