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Revolutionary Entrepreneur Encourages Young Women Engineers to Apply

Sailing firmly on the back of the recent Learning and Skills Council report highlighting the success rates of Apprenticeships, aspiring young female engineers are being urged to submit their entries for the Dyson Young Woman Engineering Apprentice of the Year Award.

£750 is up for grabs in this newly developed award, formed in conjunction with the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and Dyson, and is unique in that it only recognises young women engineers while highlighting the value of apprenticeships. Both the IET and Dyson are extremely keen for all apprentices to enter before the 15th September deadline.

James Dyson, founder of the revolutionary Dyson vacuum cleaners and President of the James Dyson Foundation, remarked: “We would encourage female apprentices to apply for this unique award, not only to shout about their achievements, but also to become a role model and ambassador for those on apprenticeship schemes.”

The judges have stipulated their specific criteria for success, seeking those women who can demonstrate a contribution in the workplace beyond the demands of their normal duties, along with dynamism in their approach to the solution of engineering problems. Furthermore, the successful apprentice will have to illustrate her ability to act as an enthusiastic role model in order to encourage other women to join the engineering profession.

Recognising the clear benefits of apprenticeships, Mr Dyson continued: “We strongly believe that women have a valuable role to play within engineering, design and technology. Embarking on an apprenticeship is a good route into engineering: it’s very much about being involved and hands on from day one”.

IET Chief Executive Alf Roberts also acknowledges the significance: “The Institution is pleased to be offering a unique award that will not only recognise achievements of female engineering apprentices for the first time but will also provide the winner with great career advancement and networking opportunities. The IET is committed to raising awareness of the value of engineering apprenticeships, particularly as the engineering sector is currently facing skills shortages”.

The winner of the Dyson Young Woman Engineering Apprentice of the Year Award will receive the honour at the Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards, due to take place on the 25th January 2007 at a ceremony in London.

Vijay Pattni

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