Unite launches joint initiative to promote engineering...

Unite launches joint initiative to promote engineering and science to young women

19 February 2014

Britain’s biggest union Unite, Cogent and the TUC will launch an initiative tomorrow (Thursday 20 February) to attract young women into science, engineering and manufacturing apprenticeships.

The first of two events will take place tomorrow at the Mechanics’ Institute in Manchester.

Over the coming months Unite, Cogent and the TUC aim to make sure there are no barriers to young women's involvement in manufacturing, and develop literature for use by teachers at schools and colleges. Not enough young women, parents and teachers have been informed about the skilled apprenticeships available in science, engineering and manufacturing. Unite, Cogent and the TUC are coming together to campaign for skilled jobs for all by encouraging schools and colleges to promote skilled apprenticeships among young women. 

The number of female students considering university courses in science, technology, engineering and maths has seen a bigger increase over the last seven years than for male students, according to new research from Cambridge Occupational Analysts. Employers, schools and colleges need to build on these promising signs and give young women real choice to pursue a career, not just through a university degree but also through pursuing quality apprenticeships.

Unite assistant general secretary Diana Holland said: “We want to spread the word to young women in schools and colleges that there should be no barriers to pursuing the career of their choice.

“However,we know that although jobs in science, engineering and manufacturing can be very skilled, hi-tech and rewarding this can seem like a sector that is not for young women. We want schools, colleges and teachers to tell young women about the opportunities available, so they can make informed decisions about what career they decide to pursue in life.”

Speakers at tomorrow’s conference ‘Women in Science and Engineering’, at the Mechanics’ Institute, Manchester include Jayne Edwards, CEO of the Technical Apprenticeship Service, Sue Murphy deputy leader of Manchester city council, Diana Holland Unite assistant general secretary,  Jayne Little, Skills4UK and Lynn Collins TUC regional secretary for the North West. Siobhan Endean Unite national equalities officer will chair the event.


Contact Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315

Twitter: @unitetheunion, Facebook: unitetheunion1

Notes to editors: 
•       Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.
•       The Cogent Group is an alliance which works to develop, design and deploy skills and education solutions for the science industries.