“Girls can’t what?” is the question posed on the UK’s first National Women in Engineering Day, the BBC reported.
One apprentice, Samantha Thompson, said her parents spotted an advert for three-year advanced apprenticeship schemes at the international energy systems company, Doosan Babcock, a big employer in her home town of Ellesmere Port.
There were around 3,000 applicants for around 85 posts. Ms Thompson made the final 250 invited to an assessment day.
Currently 8% of Doosan Babcock’s engineering apprentices are female but only 3% of construction engineers are women.
There are more females in other branches of engineering, for example environmental engineering but women still make up only 10% of the workforce as a whole.
Doosan Babcock director Martyn Fletcher, who leads the company’s apprenticeship scheme, says they are actively trying to attract talented girls and to improve diversity.
Mr Fletcher said: “We are not going to employ substandard workers just to tick boxes, we want to drive up the quality of applications from minority groups.
“As a country we are short of skills. So to restrict ourselves to a percentage of the population is not advisable.
“We need to make sure we access as many skilled and talented people as we can to deliver growth across the sector.”