North East firm Egger launches drive to attract more women into engineering

New initiative at Hexham-based firm Egger UK will see HR assistant focus on student engagement

Jenna Wiseman with Guy Opperman MP at Westminster
Jenna Wiseman with Guy Opperman MP at Westminster

Northumberland’s largest manufacturing employer has won backing from Westminster with a new initiative aimed at attracting more graduates - including women - into engineering.

As part of the move, Hexham-based wood panel manufacturer Egger UK has recruited Jenna Wiseman as a human resources assistant, focusing on student engagement. The business, which employs 580 people, already has a widely-acclaimed apprenticeship scheme in place.

Prior to graduating with a First Class Honours degree, Miss Wiseman spent two years with Egger as part of her course at Northumbria University. Over the summer, she worked in the Westminster office of Hexham MP Guy Opperman, who is backing the initiative.

Mr Opperman said: “There is a shortage of engineers right across UK manufacturing, and Government is committed to working with far-sighted employers such as Egger to showcase the excellent career opportunities available in the sector.”

As well as working alongside the company’s HR department to organise and attend recruitment fairs and other events aimed at job-seekers, Miss Wiseman will be working with other Egger companies across Europe on a coordinated employer branding marketing campaign.

Egger’s human Resources manager Jackie Stevenson said: “It’s an unfortunate fact that many young people leaving school and university simply don’t realise the huge variety of jobs on offer in Britain’s vibrant manufacturing and process industries.

“Although Government and employer organisations such as the CBI and EEF are actively promoting careers in industry, large companies such as Egger also have to play their part and invest in the future of their businesses.

“We believe that having a dedicated member of staff, in the same age range as the young people we need to be speaking to, is a major step forward in shaking off some of the misconceptions they might have about manufacturing – and crucially demonstrating that it’s equally attractive for females and is not just a male-only industry.

“With a wide range of roles available I would encourage all those who are interested in pursuing a career in manufacturing to visit our website www.egger.com/jobs to find out what is available.”

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