The kit has been launched in collaboration with Semta (The Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies Alliance) and WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) to help businesses close the skills gap in the construction, engineering, technology and manufacturing sectors by recruiting women and girls into the sector through apprenticeships.
Launching the report in Birmingham on International Women in Engineering Day, WISE Campaign CEO Helen Wollaston hailed the toolkit as a step change for business saying:
“Employers tell us they would employ women in technical roles if only they would apply. A few simple changes to how roles are described and marketed makes all the difference. We put the toolkit together to share examples of what others have done. This isn’t just about encouraging girls to consider a 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 toolkit contains information, tips, case studies and useful resources – it is intended to be a guide, leading businesses from their first steps in reaching out to women and girls, throughout their apprenticeships and on to their future careers as well.
Despite recent growth in the number of apprenticeships, with 3 million new apprentices since 2010, the number of women taking up apprenticeships in technical roles like engineering and technology related fields has remained much lower.
Research shows that while there were 13000 more women in technical roles last year than previously, women still only make up 21% of core STEM employees. And only 17% in ICT apprentice graduates, 8% of engineering apprentice graduates and 2% of construction graduates were women.
Nick Baveystock, ICE Director General said:
“We know that the skills gap presents a huge challenge for the UK. This toolkit is designed to help by 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 to find out how we can work together.”
The full toolkit can be downloaded at www.wisecampaign.org.uk/apprenticeship-toolkit