Minister meets next generation of female aviators at Stansted Airport College

PUBLISHED: 08:35 05 March 2019 | UPDATED: 08:35 05 March 2019

Year 3 girls from Thaxted Primary School with Baroness Sugg at Stansted Airport. Picture: TONY PICK

Year 3 girls from Thaxted Primary School with Baroness Sugg at Stansted Airport. Picture: TONY PICK

© 2017 Tony Pick

Aviation minister Liz Sugg met with young female students at Stansted Airport College ahead of International Women's Day to see some of the work London Stansted Airport does to encourage girls into aviation careers.

Baroness Sugg visits Stansted Airport. Picture: TONY PICKBaroness Sugg visits Stansted Airport. Picture: TONY PICK

The minister, who is calling on the aviation sector to address the shortage of women in aviation-related careers, was welcomed by college students girls from Thaxted Primary School.

She spoke about career ideas with the younger children and met female students who are all studying aviation-specific courses at the newly-opened college on-site at the airport.

Sarah Smartt, an easyJet pilot, was also on hand to talk to the students about her career as a pilot and answer their wide-range of questions.

Liz Sugg said: “Aviation employs more than 230,000 people across the UK, but it’s vital that the sector makes the best use of talent in this country.

Baroness Sugg visits Stansted Airport. Picture: TONY PICKBaroness Sugg visits Stansted Airport. Picture: TONY PICK

“There are already some great initiatives underway to attract more women into the industry, but we need to do more. Last week I had the pleasure of seeing first-hand the work London Stansted does through its range of education programmes, which have helped inspire thousands of women and young girls over the last three years.

“Ahead of this year’s International Women’s Day, we are calling on the aviation industry to pledge action to address this gap.”

Liz Austin, HR director at London Stansted Airport, is proud of the work Stansted Airport is doing to inspire the next generation of the aviation workforce and is look forward to seeing an increase in the representation of women in all sectors.

Karen Spencer, principal of Stansted Airport College, also emphasised the importance of working with girls from an early age to inspire them to think about aviation careers.

Baroness Sugg visits Stansted Airport. Picture: TONY PICKBaroness Sugg visits Stansted Airport. Picture: TONY PICK

She said: “We had an amazing day leading up to International Women’s Day at Stansted Airport College. Our trainees and apprentices were joined by Year 3 girls from Thaxted Primary School, female aviation graduates, easyJet pilot Sarah Smartt and Baroness Sugg, the aviation minister, to celebrate the exciting opportunities offered by the industry.

“With around only eight per cent of engineers and pilots being female it’s important to work with girls to inspire them to think about aviation and STEM.”

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