ISG, the global construction services company, has today announced it has signed the Young Women’s Trust pledge, aimed at improving apprenticeship opportunities for young women and encouraging them to take roles in traditionally male-dominated areas.
Research by the Young Women’s Trust has shown that female apprentices earn, on average, 21% less than their male peers, and that they also receive less training, are represented in a narrower range of sectors, and are more likely to be out of employment once they finish their apprenticeship. The research also found that currently, around 56 men start a construction apprenticeship for every woman, a figure the organisation says hasn’t changed in more than a decade.
Dr Carole Easton, chief executive of the Young Women’s Trust, says: “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.
Easton goes on to suggest ways that young women might find the idea of a construction career more appealing: “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.”
Announcing her company’s pledge to the scheme, Jane Falconer, group HR director at ISG, says: “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.”