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Drive to boost employment for women: Midlands roadshow

Women should take advantage of the 12 million future vacancies traditionally considered male jobs, like construction and engineering.

Employment Minister, Esther McVey, will say in Birmingham that women are “still unrepresented in many of the UK’s current growth industries, such as engineering, IT and construction”, according to new analysis, as she visits firms with a strong track record of hiring women.

She will also discuss the soon-to-be-launched campaign #NotJustForBoys – encouraging women to take on ‘non-traditional’ roles and to challenge stereotypes about the careers that young women can aim for.

Analysis shows that there are 12 million job openings in the UK over the next decade – with the minister calling on women to make the most of those opportunities as she visits the West Midlands.

Female employment has reached a near record high in the West Midlands, with almost 1.2 million women in work – while there are now a record 14.4 million women in work across the UK.

Employment Minister Esther McVey said:

“Up and down the country, the women of the UK have been staging a quiet revolution – they’ve been getting in work in unprecedented numbers.

“With record employment and almost 700,000 vacancies in the economy – I want to see as many young women as possible making the most of those opportunities to provide the security of a regular wage for themselves.

“Despite a record number of women in work they are still underrepresented in many of the industries – for example engineering, science and construction – where they can be the role models in traditionally male-dominated jobs for the next generation.

“And let’s not forget that if women set up businesses at the same rate as men – there would be an extra 150,000 starts-ups every year. I want to see even more women take advantage of government job schemes so we can see more female Richard Bransons take on the business world – they can do it, it’s not just for boys.

“Women are getting on and making choices about the world of work that many of their mothers and grandmothers might never have considered for themselves.

“I want to see more women make the most of the future growth and job opportunities in what once may have been considered non-traditional roles – so young children won’t only know about Bob the Builder, but Becky the Builder, his workmate too.”

The minister will be visiting a number of firms on the latest round of national jobs roadshow – including:

  • Women in Construction, which helps women find work in the construction sector and is set to announce 20 new apprentice roles
  • AYS Logistics, which also has a strong record of hiring women into the logistics sector
  • engineering and project management firm PM Group

Women in Construction have worked with Thomas Vale Construction, based in Worcestershire, to take on female apprentices – with 20 being taken on by the end of the year.

Across the UK, there are around 260,000 women working in the construction sector – up by 14,000 in the last year. While in the West Midlands, there are 18,000 women employed across the industry.

The minister will also lead a summit with large employers in the West Midlands to find new ways to break down barriers to female employment and creating new opportunities for women to head into non-traditional roles.

Women are in work in record numbers but underrepresented in construction, IT, science and engineering. The #NotJustForBoys campaign will highlight the work that women are doing to help build the economy, show that these careers are not just for men and inspire women to take on these jobs.

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