Sparking STEAM Talent

As part of their Social Value delivery on the Belfast Grand Central Station project, Farrans Sacyr held a careers open day which brought together 75 female students from five schools in the city for an interactive experience event. The aim was to inspire the next generation of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) talent and to encourage female students to consider careers in industries where they are traditionally underrepresented.

Year nine students took part in a site tour, an engineering railway challenge, a virtual reality experience, Minecraft, a structural engineering challenge and workshops on sustainability, health and safety, and the commercial aspects of running a live project.

Only 11% of engineers are female

The day was hosted in collaboration with Translink, W5, CITB and ConstructTuition ahead of International Women in Engineering Day. The five leading organisations joined forces to build a more diverse and inclusive talent pipeline for the construction sector, with Equality Commission NI figures showing that only 11% of engineers are female.

Sarah Fearon, Community Engagement Manager for Farrans Sacyr, said: “A collaborative approach between expert organisations will be critical in encouraging a greater number of female students to realise the endless possibilities for exciting careers in this industry. As part of our work on Belfast Grand Central Station we are committed to delivering a positive lasting impact through events and engagement with local community groups, charities and schools to provide training, apprenticeships and employment.

Lisa McFadden, Translink Programme Manager commented: “As an organisation we are committed to actively encouraging more females to apply for transport jobs. Being part of this event is a great opportunity to demonstrate the many opportunities open to females within the engineering and construction side of our business and show how a career in public transport can help play a major part in tackling the climate crisis and enhance air quality, for a healthier, smarter and more sustainable city for everyone”.

Stimulating diverse & inclusive talent

Belfast Lord Mayor, Councillor Tina Black commented: “It’s wonderful to see these young women being encouraged to consider careers in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. We have an immense amount of talent in our city – and we’ve made a commitment in The Belfast Agenda to help every young person living here to reach their full potential. The investment we’ve secured through the Belfast Region City Deal – and the delivery of landmark infrastructure developments like Belfast’s Grand Central Station – are going to help create new and better jobs in these growth areas, so it’s fantastic to see that employers are making concerted efforts to stimulate a more diverse and inclusive talent supply pipeline.”

One year 9 student at Hunterhouse College said: “I thought that the Farrans Sacyr day out was great in helping me to understand what GCSE subjects to study and even what kind of job I want to do. The workshops were a fun and easy way to learn how it all works while being planned out in a way so I could remember it all.”

Farran's STEAM event