Closing the skills gap – UK’s businesses are being given help to recruit more women and girls into technical roles
Businesses across the capital are being encouraged to do more to recruit women and girls into STEM careers in areas like retail, engineering, IT and construction.
Launching today during an Inspire Engineering session for Year Seven girls at the London Transport Museum, WISE, with support from Transport for London (TfL), are offering the “People like Me in Apprenticeships” pack as a resource for businesses to improve their engagement with girls who might be interested in a future career in engineering, technology, science, project management or construction.
Many of these employers in areas like construction, technology and transport, are struggling with skills shortages and are looking to recruit and train more apprentices. Women and girls have historically been under represented in these areas – just 17% of ICT apprentices, 8% of engineering apprentices and 2% of construction apprentices finishing their course last year were women.
The People Like Me in Apprenticeships pack builds on the success of other dedicated resources for physics, electronics and digital skills. It aims to tackle skills shortages by increasing the number of women and girls taking up technical apprenticeships.
Speaking ahead of the launch, WISE Chief Executive Helen Wollaston said: “We’ve produced the People Like Me in Apprenticeships pack to help businesses recruit more women into technical roles. The best way to do that is to open girls’ eyes in a really exciting way to show how science and maths can help them access a whole range of different opportunities in the future.
“The pack uses a fresh approach, based on the experiences and advice given by real young women who have begun careers in technology, engineering, construction and science. We know previous bespoke resources were successful thanks to the efforts of TfL and others and I hope businesses take up the challenge to show girls there are many more opportunities in science than they think.”
The pack is supported by Transport for London, which currently offers a number of initiatives to inspire more people, particularly girls and women, to consider a career in the transport industry and study the STEM subjects, which broaden apprentices’ opportunities to pursue different careers within the industry.
Tricia Wright, Director of Human Resources at Transport for London (TfL), said: “Apprenticeships are a fantastic opportunity for those looking to start a new career and earn as they learn. This toolkit, along with our wider range of initiatives, will encourage more people, particularly girls and women, to consider the career opportunities that are open to them within the transport industry and by studying the STEM subjects.”
TfL have already been encouraging young women like Kimberly Hepburn to join the transport industry as an apprentice. Having since become a junior quantity surveyor at TfL, Kimberly said: “The best part of my role is working with my supervisors and mentors who are real role models and make my goals feel reachable.”