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ConstructionSkills wins slice of £10 million drive to boost the number of women in the workplace

ConstructionSkills, the Sector Skills Council for the construction industry, has won a slice of £10 million to help encourage and support women who want to work in the construction industry.

From school leavers to those returning to work after a career break, women will have the chance to test out new recruitment and career opportunities that have previously been considered the preserve of men.

The initiative is being spearheaded by five Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) as part of the Government’s Women & Work programme. Overall, the two-year scheme aims to help up to 10,000 women across all five sectors find new careers or progress their careers in sectors where they are currently under-represented.

ConstructionSkills, which already runs the Positive Image campaign to encourage women and ethnic minorities into the industry, will run a variety of new projects to provide women with the skills and confidence they will need to succeed in the industry, including training for a new career; personal development programmes to help in progressing to supervisory and managerial level, and also into self employment; mentoring schemes for female employees; and female-only bursaries for technical qualifications.

According to the Women & Work Commission, it is estimated that increasing women’s participation in different sectors could be worth between £15 billion and £23 billion a year to the UK economy.

Alan Johnson, Secretary of State for Education & Skills announces the sectors for the Women & Work Sector Pathways Initiative.

He said: “I am delighted to announce that ConstructionSkills, along with four other SSCs, will be taking forward this initiative in response to the Women and Work Commission report ‘Shaping a Fairer Future’. Over the next two years we are investing £10m to help remove the barriers many women still face in getting in and getting on in the workplace. It's about getting a better deal for women and for all of us, as this has the potential to bring a greater rate of return to our economy and society as a whole."

Paul Sykes, recruitment manager at ConstructionSkills stated:

“This is great news; the support and financial backing from government will really help boost the current work we do to encourage women into the industry. Our Positive Image campaign, which has been running for eight years now, has really helped boost female applications for both trade and professional occupations. Winning the bid for the construction sector will only take things a step further, and will hopefully help shape the future workforce for the better – bringing in much needed fresh talent and new skills.”

For further information, please see the full press release.

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