A multi-billion pound investment in road and rail will create thousands of opportunities for women to become apprentices with civil engineering consultants, thanks to an agreement between the Department of Transport and rail operators.
According to Get West London, major rail providers will work to meet new targets that aim to get more women into engineering roles. The investment will see opportunities for some 30,000 would-be engineers, with an amount safeguarded for female apprentices.
Currently, only 20 per cent of employees in the rail industry are female and even fewer, at 4.4 per cent, are involved in engineering roles.
Crossrail chair and strategy author Terry Morgan CBE says that the strategy to ensure these projects come to fruition is more high calibre female employees in these roles. “To create a workforce capable of delivering the unprecedented number of transport projects in the pipeline it is vital we increase the number of apprentices and attract more women into the industry,” he said.
As well as apprenticeships for women, the government has also suggested companies offer ‘returnships’ – making it easier for women to return to work after maternity leave and look to a future with a more diverse workforce.
The investment is part of the government’s five year economic plan which is described as ‘the biggest modernisation of the rail network since the Victorian age’. Unveiled in 2014, the £38 billion plan aims to give “passengers more trains, more seats, reduced congestion and bigger, better stations,” according to the Gov UK website.