Peterborough’s Openreach to host open day to encourage women into engineering

One of Openreach's engineers training on some of the latest kit.
One of Openreach's engineers training on some of the latest kit.
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A communications giant in Peterborough is to host a family day as it steps up its campaign to encourage more women into engineering.

Openreach will host the family day at its training school in Saville Road, Peterborough, on June 23 - which is also International Women in Engineering Day - from noon to 2.30pm.

It is the first time the training school has been open to the public and organisers have planned a host of fun activities.

The theme is ‘having a go’, with engineering related games, challenges and activities for the whole family – from ‘can you find the pipe?’ using tracking detectors to a colouring competition.

There will be ‘show and tell’ sessions to see pole climbing and fibre splicing and the chance to dress up like an engineer (and take selfies) and look inside a typical Openreach engineering van.

Female engineers will be on hand to talk about their careers and demonstrate some of the high-tech kit they use each day. Visitors will also be able to take a stroll down the new “Open Street” – a replica street built from scratch at the centre, where engineers practise their skills.

Peterborough engineer Jenny Sykes said: “A career in engineering is extremely rewarding and I’m hoping the Open Day will help more women realise that it’s a realistic option.

“Being an engineer for Openreach is a fantastic job and one that I really enjoy.

“There can be a misconception that the physical side of the role makes it too challenging, but in reality, it’s never been less so.

“With the modern tools and techniques we use, this career is now very much open to both men and women.

She added: “My message to anyone who’s thinking about a career as an engineer, whether that be starting out from college or switching career at a later stage, is to come along to Peterborough and find out more.”

A spokesperson said: “Openreach is working hard to attract a diverse workforce.

“Last year, more female engineers joined than in previous years and recruitment of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people has risen nationally from 11 per cent in 2017 to 17 per cent in 2018.”

Openreach employs more than 3,000 people across the East of England, the majority of them engineers, and earlier this year announced a further 400 new recruits during 2019.