At the beginning of June, the UK’s Skills and Enterprise Minister announced new funding for initiatives to address the skills gap and gender imbalance in the country’s engineering sector. The ‘Developing Women Engineers’ and ‘Improving Engineering Careers’ schemes will each be allotted £10 million in funding. An extra £10 million that will be used to develop engineering skills in smaller companies will be available this autumn.
The schemes form part of the government’s Employer Ownership Fund, which invites employers to come up with training projects that would help overcome the skills gap. For the ‘Developing Women Engineers’ and ‘Improving Engineering Careers’ initiatives ‘prospective bidders are encouraged to explore how they can support employees, particularly women, looking to return to the sector and how individuals with relevant skills can be helped to progress to become fully qualified engineers’.
“I am pleased to announce that the government is providing £10 million to help women progress as engineers. We need to move away from the perception that engineering is a ‘man’s world’. Without women pursuing careers in engineering, UK companies are missing out on a vast pool of talent,” said Nicky Morgan, Minister for Women.
“The lack of engineering skills in the UK has become a ticking time-bomb, and manufacturers are investing heavily in their current and future workforces to prevent it from exploding. This must include investing in all sections of our workforce, in particular women where the UK has an especially poor record. What has been needed is extra support to push companies to adopt more innovative solutions to truly tackle the skills shortage and gender imbalance that exists in our industry,” added Terry Scuoler, Chief Executive of EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation. “The fund announced today will do just that and we will be encouraging manufacturers to get involved and take this opportunity to tackle the skills challenge head-on.”
Also in June, UK Energy and Climate Change Minister, Baroness Verma, launched POWERful Women (PfW), which aims to highlight female leadership potential in the UK’s energy sector. The initiative’s targets include women making up 40% of middle management at energy companies and 30% of executive board members by 2030.
Adapted from press release by Louise Fordham
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/europe-cis/26062014/funding_schemes_to_address_uk_engineering_skills_gap_422/