Jessica Tabinor social mobility
Morson was proud to partner with Engineering UK and the University of Salford at the latest Engineering Connections ‘Spotlight on Social Mobility’ event this week.
The event sought to explore why individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds are underrepresented in engineering occupations, making up just 24% of the workforce.
EngineeringUK’s first event out of London was a huge success, featuring talks from leading experts in the field of social mobility (including Morson’s own Andy Robinson and Gerry Mason Scholar Muhtaba Ghulam) and interesting debate which could have carried on well into the afternoon.
Hosted by Mark Tittering, CEO of EngineeringUK, the speakers included:
- Dr Lindsay Richards, Centre for Social Investigation at Nuffield College
- Andy Robinson, Training Support Manager at Morson Vital Training
- Phil East, CEO Salford Foundation
- Mujtaba Ghulam, Engineering Student at the University of Salford
Andy from Morson Vital Training passionately spoke of the work that he himself and Morson as a wider group undertake to support social mobility. As the lead for the level 2 rail engineering apprenticeship programme, Andy plays an instrumental role in the development and continuous improvement of young people through apprenticeships. With a background in education, he also outlined his work in schools as an Enterprise Advisor with GMCA, where he works closely with the schools to improve their careers provision.
Stressing the importance of engaging with children who may have limited aspirations due to the communities they live in, Andy outlined that it is within schools where most impact can be made. By making them aware of the opportunities available and providing them with routes to employment and role models to look up to, Andy aims to build the next generation of engaged and motivated professionals. In one such activity, Morson Vital Training hosted the Girls Network, for a #careersontrack event where students from St Ambrose School visited their rail training facility in Salford. The year 10 and 12 pupils from St Ambrose spent an afternoon gaining practical experience of rail safety and skills and exploring opportunities in engineering. Positively, many of the girls came away from the event considering apprenticeships in the engineering world. For many, the event ‘opened their eyes’ to engineering and for one pupil the event has spurred her on to realising her dream to become a construction engineer and encourage more women into the profession.
Andy also discussed our target to double the number of female contractors by 2020 and being part of the 5% club charter where we strive to get 5% of our workforce in ‘earn and learn’ positions within five years of joining. He also spoke about the work that Morson do to support the Armed Forces, having recruited 1,220 ex-forces personnel in the last 12 months.
We heard from Mujtaba, an engineering student at the University of Salford who explained how the Gerry Mason Scholarship, part of a pledge of £270,000 which enables talented young people who would otherwise be deterred from university because of costs, to pursue an engineering degree, has given him the opportunity to achieve his dream of becoming a Chartered Engineer.
Reflecting on the event, Andy said:
“It was a pleasure to attend and be a speaker at the EngineeringUK event on Social Mobility. The wide spectrum of organisations represented demonstrate there is a real appetite in industry at the moment to make the difference and help people from all walks of life reach their potential, whilst securing engineering infrastructure projects for years to come.”