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Carving a new future for yourself

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Sheffield College wants to encourage more girls and women into the engineering, construction and technology industries, with places still available on courses beginning this autumn. A recent leaver from the college is Becca Hopkinson, one of the minority of women carving a new future in the furniture making industry after completing a woodwork course. Her bespoke and hand-made pieces have recently been exhibited as part of a furniture show held in the college atrium.  

The college offers full time and part-time furniture making, and part time DIY courses. The furniture making courses cover how to design and make a wide range of furniture. The DIY course includes practical tips on how to put up shelves, fit locks, install skirting board and hang a door, and how to use power tools safely. The college has a dedicated workshop equipped with woodwork benches, cross cut and circular saws, planer and portable power tools at its Granville Road site.

Meg said:

“I’ve met many young women who are now working in careers that were previously thought of as ‘just for men’, so it’s great to see that Becca’s set up her own successful furniture making business.  I’m working with our local colleges, universities, and businesses, to ensure young women, and men, know about the career opportunities available in engineering, construction and technology, so they can make informed choices about their futures.”

Becca said:

"I enjoy having a hands on job, and I love working with wood. I’m from a family of six girls. I was always the ’fix it’ one in the family so there was interest from a young age."

Sue Clarke, Construction and Furniture Lecturer, said:

"Women are very underrepresented in the construction and furniture making industries. Only 2% of people in those industries are women, yet they make up more than 50% of the population. We run classes that give women the opportunity to develop their confidence and skills. Some students on the furniture making course go onto self employment, others progress to further study afterwards." 

Julie Byrne, Principal of Sheffield City College and The Sheffield College of Applied Engineering, added:

“The college is fully supportive of offering provision designed to attract non-traditional students into areas where they have been typically under represented."

Becca has started her own business http://www.bebabespoke.co.uk/

For information about Sheffield College courses go to:  www.sheffcol.ac.uk.

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