Prestwick air traffic control centre hosts annual ‘Bring Your Daughter to Work Day’

11 October 2018

Following reports that only 11% of the UK’s engineering and technology workforce are women*, NATS opened its doors to a potential next generation of female engineers and air traffic controllers this week.

NATS Prestwick was delighted to host 18 young women, aged between13-18, who had the chance to meet Air Traffic Controllers, Air Traffic Control Assistants, Engineers, Human Factors Specialists, Accountants and enjoy a day of interactive talks, tours and activities aimed at helping them discover more about a possible career in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) and aviation.

The event, held on 10 October, compliments the  NATS’ Academy programme which helps young people across Ayrshire and beyond discover the breadth of STEM-related career paths in the aviation industry.

Employees from NATS’ site in Prestwick, Ayrshire, were able to invite a daughter, female family member or friend to work for the day and many took advantage of the event to do just this.

Vicky Newhouse, who looks after NATS’ Early Careers programme, said: “After the great success of this event last year we were really excited to do it again. It’s important for young girls and women to feel confident taking up a career in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) related industries – and this event is our way of planting that seed.

“By inspiring and engaging with them from a young age, we hope NATS can encourage young women to think more about their career options and the opportunities available to them within the aviation sector.”

NATS believes increasing diversity in the aviation industry is vital for several reasons, not least to expand the pool of engineering talent at a time when the industry has some truly ground-breaking developments on the horizon.

Vicky said: “Growing our talent pool is hugely important to NATS’ future success, so we hope the day gave them an insight into what a future career in STEM can offer and particularly the fantastic opportunities that exist in air traffic control.”

NATS is one of Ayrshire’s largest private employers and is responsible for handling 80% of North Atlantic air traffic, as well as traffic over Scotland, Northern Ireland and parts of England.

*2017 study by the Women in Engineering Society. The full report can be read here.

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