Pembrokeshire County Council joined Pembrokeshire College this month in launching the Sustainable Power, Renewables, and Construction (SPARC) Alliance to promote gender diversity in these underrepresented industries.

The launch event was fittingly held on International Women’s Day and saw a number of inspirational women take to the stage to celebrate the role educators and the industry can play in encouraging women into non-traditional roles.

SPARC Alliance members include - Blue Gem Wind, Floventis, Ledwood Engineering, Port of Milford Haven and RWE Renewables, local secondary schools and Pembrokeshire College.

Investment from the Alliance, with additional funding from the Swansea Bay City Deal, will support school teachers in delivery engagement and awareness raising activities.

Pembrokeshire County Council Director for Education Steven Richards-Downs said: “The SPARC Alliance comprises a transformational opportunity to engage and inspire our young females in considering careers within current and future sustainable power, renewables and construction pathways.

“We are grateful to the collective efforts of the Alliance partners, Swansea Bay City Deal and Pembrokeshire College in making this initiative possible.”

One of the highlights of the event was a careers panel where five women working in the industry took time out of their busy schedules to answer questions from young people and inspire the next generation of engineers.

Naomi Bowen, from Milford Haven, is one SPARC member who has transferred her skills to the renewable energy sector after working in fossil fuels for 14 years.

Naomi said: “I don’t think young people are aware of all the different roles available within the sector, and the transferrable skills needed for many of the roles. Even though there is interest, they just aren’t aware of what is out there.

“The SPARC initiative plans to embed practitioners in Welsh schools, educating pupils aged 9-16 years old on the opportunities in the industry, to inspire their future careers.

“There is so much variety and choice for young women coming from STEM backgrounds, from tech and engineering to project management and design.

“Diversity within the renewables industry is getting better each year, with more and more equal opportunities, it’s never felt more inclusive.”