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Use 'innovation age' to increase female talent

Skills

The national risk of losing female talent from engineering is too great to ignore, according to transport minister John Hayes.

Speaking at the Women in Science and Engineering (Wise) conference last week (10 November), Hayes said there was a need to “make this new innovation age as great as the first”, citing Crossrail and High Speed 2 as examples of innovative projects.

However, he stressed that investment should also be used to increase female participation in the industry, saying lost talent would be measured in missing motorways and crumbling bridges.

“As a nation, we will never know the price we pay,” he said. “If ever there was a time to inspire women in engineering, it is now.”

Hayes’ comments come after his recent visit to meet apprentices on the Crossrail project, where he said that 25% of the most recent apprenticeship intake is female.

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