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'Female friendly' call for apprenticeships

Women must be encouraged to pursue careers in plumbing and engineering – according to Skills Secretary John Denham.

According to Government figures only two per cent of apprenticeships within plumbing and engineering were taken up by women despite major progress in other employment areas in recent years.

The Government is so keen to tempt women to take up occupations traditionally seen as male-dominated that it will establish pilot schemes later this year aimed at encouraging female job seekers to consider these sectors.

The situation is particularly worrying to the Government as these are areas where there are skills shortages and the government has also set down a target of ensuring at least one in five young people will start an apprenticeship over the next decade.

Mr Denham said: “I want to see far more young people choose apprenticeships as a great way to embark on a fulfilling career.  Apprenticeships are critical to our success as a nation.

“We need more women to take up apprenticeships, especially in areas such as engineering and construction, to tackle current skills shortages and to ensure we have the right people with the right skills in place to do the jobs of the future.

“We’ll be providing more funding, support and advice for women so that those who may not have considered doing an apprenticeship can be encouraged that it’s the right choice for them. We’ll also be working closely with employers so that they can tap into a more diverse workforce to meet their skills needs.”

Pictured is the H&V News Awards Apprentice of the Year, Jane Bell.