First Bus apprentice encourages more women to join the bus sector on International Women in Engineering Day
- International Women in Engineering Day gives female engineers a platform to encourage more women to enter the industry.
- First Bus' dedicated apprentice training academy offers women a clear pathway to begin their career in engineering.
- First Bus apprentice Maddi Simmons encourages young women to apply for an engineering apprenticeship.
The bus sector is traditionally known as a male-dominated industry, so it comes as no surprise that just 16.5% of engineers in the UK are women. Every year, International Women in Engineering Day gives female engineers a platform to encourage more young women and girls to enter the industry.
As one of the UK's largest bus operators, First Bus is fully behind the initiative, as it looks to diversify its engineering teams by encouraging more women to consider a career in the sector. Following the opening of its first dedicated apprentice training academy at Reaseheath College in 2021, First Bus now have an industry-leading programme that offers women a clear pathway to begin their career in engineering.
Maddi Simmons, now in her second year, was among the first cohort to join the new apprenticeship programme. Dividing her time between the company's Bridgwater depot and the training centre at Reaseheath, Maddi is learning the essential skills that will help her become a fully qualified bus engineer.
Maddi said: “As a young woman, I was really nervous to begin my apprenticeship as I didn’t know what to expect, especially when it came to the environment within the workshop. However, First Bus has ensured that it’s a really inclusive and welcoming environment and it felt like everyone was on a level playing field from the offset.
“Although engineering is a career that has always been typically associated with males, if it’s really what you want to do, that shouldn’t stop you. I have always enjoyed working with my hands and wanted to do something practical, so it felt like a natural path for me.”
Maddi hopes to continue her career at First Bus when her apprenticeship finishes next summer. When asked about how women can take that step into engineering, Maddie replied: “I would really encourage other young women to think about applying for an engineering apprenticeship – your gender or other people’s perceived bias shouldn’t stop you.”
Notes to editors
Pic 1 - First Bus apprentice Maddi training at Reaseheath College
Pic 2 - First Bus apprentices Liam and Maddi training at Reaseheath College
About First Bus
First Bus is one of the UK’s largest bus operators. Making journeys easier for our customers, we were the first national bus operator to accept contactless card payments across all of our services and our First Bus App is voted ‘best in class’ amongst UK bus operators. Our most recent investments are in new, state-of-the-art buses across our key networks.
We work proactively with our local authority partners, making a positive impact on air quality, tackling congestion and improving customer experience. We are focused on First Bus becoming a leader in the transition to a low-carbon future and are committed to operating a zero-emission bus fleet by 2035; we have pledged not to purchase any new diesel buses after December 2022. We also operate the Aircoach network in Ireland. First Bus is a division of FirstGroup.
For more information on First Bus: https://news.firstbus.co.uk/