Shocking Stat Reveals Only 16.5% Of The Uk’s Engineering Workforce Is Female
3 months ago

West Midlands Railway (WMR) is looking for its next batch of rail engineers, with the newest
round of Engineering Technician Apprentices to join its exciting 2024 apprenticeship scheme.

With only 16.5% of the UK’s engineering workforce female, WMR is on the hunt for creative,
inquisitive, and collaborative women to come forward and join their campaign to level the
playing field in the engineering industry, and in the rail industry as a whole.

Companywide, West Midlands Trains (operator of West Midlands Railway and London
Northwestern Railway) currently boasts a female workforce percentage above the national
average, and 30% of all recruits in the past 12-months were female. Despite this, the travel
operator is on a mission to enhance its gender diversity further in an effort to tackle the
industry-wide issue.

Speaking on her experience as a female in the rail engineering industry, Avril
Shields, an apprentice technician at West Midlands Trains, comments:

“There have been many highs during my career in engineering at West Midlands Trains and
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being able to share the knowledge and skills I have learnt with the
newest apprentices joining the team. I’ve been extremely lucky that despite working in a
typically male-dominated industry, each individual at West Midlands Trains is given the
opportunity to learn, grow and develop. Almost everyone on the shopfloor started as an
apprentice, so know exactly what it feels like to start the journey from the beginning and
further enhance your career within the company.

“For those thinking or even contemplating applying, I couldn’t urge you more to go for it. It
is much more than being an apprentice technician, it’s a chance to earn as you learn and get
your foot in the door to such an interesting and important industry. There are endless
opportunities to grow, with fantastic personal benefits – such as a network travel pass. Since
joining the team I’ve been able to take family members to cities they haven’t been to before
– it’s really opened the country for me.

“As a company, we have a real tight-nit community at West Midlands Trains – everybody
gets along, supports each other and is a comfortable work environment where we work
alongside each other well. The team is super supportive! There are already a few women
here at Tyseley and we’d absolutely love to welcome more!”

Fellow apprenticeship technician at West Midlands Trains, Rio Pearce, added:

“To those thinking of applying to the Apprenticeship Technician job opening, I would
absolutely suggest they go for it! It's a great career opportunity with so much room for
future progression.

“During the apprenticeship, you’ll get lots of hands-on experience, as well as classroom-
based learning. Alongside this, a huge benefit you’ll be able to take advantage of is meeting
people in the industry and learning about the railway through your own personal

“At West Midlands Trains, we support each other and learn from one another. We've been on
some great trips and had the chance to get involved in different areas of the business, truly
getting the most out of our role.”

So – could you, or someone you know, be WMR’s ideal candidate? If you have been
considering beginning a career in engineering or rail, the scheme could be a great
opportunity for you. With the chance to work alongside award-winning team technicians and
engineers, the programme will result in you being awarded two highly sought after industry
qualifications – leading to an exciting and rewarding career in engineering.

For more information and to start your application, you can visit Transport UK’s (owner of
West Midlands Trains) careers page. Or, for more information about West Midlands Railway
and their apprenticeships, head over to West Midlands Railway’s careers hub.


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