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Women apprentices initiative launched

Apprentice

A new initiative encouraging employers to take on more women in construction and engineering roles has been launched by the ICE, the Science, Engineering & Manufacturing Technologies Alliance (SEMTA) and Women Into Science & Engineering (WISE).

The initiative includes a web based toolkit with information, tips, case studies and useful resources, from first steps in reaching out to women and girls, throughout their apprenticeships and on to their future careers.

ICE director general Nick Baveystock said: “We know that the skills gap presents a huge challenge for the UK. The toolkit is designed to help using real world examples from businesses we’ve been working with. We’ve got the expertise and experience to help set out those long term strategies and I’d encourage any company facing skills shortages or taking on apprentices to get in touch and find out how we can work together.”

WISE chief executive Helen Wollaston said: “This isn’t just about encouraging girls to consider a science, technology engineering and maths (STEM) apprenticeship. We would like to see employers offer apprenticeships to women of any age who want the opportunity to do something different – including women they already employ.”

The number of women in technical roles increased by 13,000 last year but women still only make up 21% of core STEM employees; 17% of information and communications technology apprentice graduates; 8% of engineering apprentice graduates; and 2% of construction graduates.

Semta chief executive Ann Watson said: “There is still a view that apprenticeships, especially in engineering and other technical fields, aren’t for girls.

“Women and girls working in STEM apprenticeships almost universally love their jobs, have a great experience and are in high demand.

“That’s why the toolkit is so important – because businesses know this but are often stuck on how to reach out and attract women and girls into often male-dominated industries. We’ve put a step by step plan together to support their efforts.”

The full toolkit is free to access here

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