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Train To Win (clip 2)

Training and employment of women engineers during the Second World War

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Second clip of a documentary film exploring the training of women in the munitions factories during the Second World War. They are shown how to operate machinery safely and learn technical and mathematical information to compliment their practical skills. This clip includes: Women students sit in class while a woman instructor draws a diagram on a blackboard. They work at desks, studying technical drawing and math. A manager sits at his desk in an engineering firm's office. He is brought a clip informing him he can employ women to do the jobs he needs done. We see detail of the article. He is hesitant to ask women to do the job, but eventually calls the employment office. We see posters showing soldiers telling women students they can help build things to win the war effort. The Manager attends the employment engineering school and is shown some of the metalwork components the women have made. The manager is impressed and goes to see the women at work. We see them handling various machines. The manager signs up the girls to do the work he needs. In conversation, one of the girls carelessly leaves her hand in the machine is nearly injured. She is reminded: safety first. We see more machines, and components. Outside the manager's factory, the women, dressed in factory uniforms, head to work and get busy, much to the admiration of the manager. They collect their pay as they leave.

Questions & Activities


  • Why would the men be arguing about whether to employ women?
  • How difficult do you think it would be working in a munitions factory?
  • What are the health and safety issues?
  • What were the benefits for the country?
  • What were the benefits for the women workers?


English: Write narration from the woman's point of view about what is happening and how she feels. You could record the narration over the film, make a storyboard or write a report about work experience.

English / History: Write a newspaper report about women joining the labour force and the types of prejudice they might encounter.

Home Front / English: Interview an older person about their role during the war.

Media Studies / History / Drama: Watch the 1943 film Millions Like Us - a fictional film of women in the munitions factories and compare to this training film. Then write a script for your own film about working in the factories. Develop a set of characters and create a scene of action and dialogue. Then act out the scene. You could also film your drama.

Gender: Research the role of women in World War II. What other jobs did they do and why were they encouraged back into the home following the war. Look at 'Wood Goes to War' to see another munitions factory and 'A Day in the Home' as an example of what was expected of women following the war.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-002-429-C
Resource Rights Holder National Library of Scotland
Project Ref 3838
Date 1941
Genre Public Information
School Subject History, Social Studies, Media Studies, English, Gender Studies
Subject Matter Engineering, World War 2, Home Front
Who Frank Marshall (director), Ministry of Labour (sponsor)
Where Glasgow
Attributes Black and White, Silent
Clip Length 7:24
Film Length 15:08