Austria's major oil company OMV announced Wednesday that it has selected 15 young women from 170 applicants to receive technical scholarships funded by the firm.
The technical scholarship program, launched by OMV in 2012, aims to encourage more women to take an interest in technology and engineering. It sees OMV support 15 students per year in technology-based studies for the duration of their bachelor degrees.
Both financial and academic support is provided by OMV, which funds each scholar to the tune of EUR 350 ($450) per month. At the same time, OMV offers the scholars an opportunity to gain work experience as well as assisting with dissertations.
"Education is the key to the future of the next generation and to the quality of Austria as a business location. We are awarding technical scholarships to encourage more young women to take up technical careers and thereby counter the shortfall of skilled workers in technology and engineering long-term," OMV Senior Advisor E&P Capability Development Christopher Veit said in a company statement.
"The feedback from students has shown that we are on the right track. OMV is helping students to be able to concentrate 100 percent on their studies."
OMV said that all of the scholars from the 2012 and 2013 programs successfully completed their first year of higher education, with the majority also making the most of the opportunity to take up a work experience placement at OMV.
The oil and gas industry as a whole is keen to encourage technically-gifted young women to pursue careers in the sector as it attempts to ensure that it has the talent it will need in future years. In December last year, a review of engineering skills in the UK found that the country remains behind the curve when it comes to involving women in the engineering workforce.
At the end of June GE Oil & Gas announced the launch of its GirlsGetSET initiative, which is designed to raise awareness among young female schoolchildren of the wide range of opportunities that would be available them should they take up a career in science, engineering and technology.
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