ISG, the global construction services company, has today signed the Young Women’s Trust pledge to help more young women into apprenticeships. As employers fear a skills gap will harm productivity across the UK, the charity will work with ISG to increase the number of young women joining its apprenticeship programme.
Young Women’s Trust, which supports young women on low or no pay, campaigns to improve apprenticeships for women and support those wanting to work in traditionally male-dominated sector.
For every woman starting a construction apprenticeship there are around 56 men – a figure that hasn’t changed in more than a decade.
Research by Young Women’s Trust shows that women apprentices earn on average 21 per cent less than men, receive less training and are represented in a narrower range of sectors. They are also more likely to be out of employment once they finish their apprenticeship.
Young Women’s Trust is helping companies to take positive action to make apprenticeships work for women.
Jane Falconer, Group HR Director at ISG, said:
“We’re a dynamic company and the diversity of our workforce is hugely important to our business, ensuring we harness the skills and expertise of the most talented professionals in the industry. This is a great opportunity to further enhance our apprenticeship schemes and build on the work we do to ensure a fully inclusive apprenticeship experience for the best and the brightest. Working with Young Women’s Trust is another way that ISG can demonstrate that both our business, and the industry as a whole, is open and actively seeking to recruit many more women to ensure our workforce is much more reflective of society.”
Dr Carole Easton, Young Women’s Trust Chief Executive, said:
“Unless companies are pro-active, women will remain under-represented in the construction sector.
“We are delighted that ISG has committed to hiring more young women apprentices and we look forward to working with them to make that a reality. The UK desperately needs more construction workers. Meeting that demand means welcoming more women into the sector.
“Small changes like adapting the language in job adverts to appeal to young women, explicitly welcoming women applicants and removing formal academic entry requirements for apprenticeships can make a big difference. Providing part-time and flexible apprenticeships would help young mothers in particular, who often have to balance care with work.”
ISG joins a growing number of companies signed up to the pledge, including Asda, Network Rail, Barclays, Balfour Beatty and Wates. Young Women’s Trust will work with employers to help them take the positive steps needed to increase the number of young women apprentices.