Bury North MP James Frith gave the keynote address at the national conference of Clarion Futures – a leading apprenticeship provider – during National Apprenticeship Week. Giving the speech on International Women’s Day, James took the opportunity to highlight the gender disparity in some fields and called on apprenticeship providers to do more to recruit women.
In 2014/15, less than 4% of engineering apprentices were women and only 9% of the current engineering workforce is made up of women. In his speech, James called for action:
“When women are left out or overlooked we fail to fulfil their potential and ours. Girls and young women must be encouraged to take up STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects and schools, colleges and employers should take up the challenge to ensure where there is little progress in the equal representation of women that we target it and match it.”
In Bury, James visited apprentices at MSL Solutions, employed through the Bury College Employment Gateway as Laboratory Apprentices at their site on Manchester Road. James said:
“Apprenticeships are an important route into employment for those wanting to work and learn whilst earning a wage. It is really important for local businesses to support apprenticeships and give local young people the opportunity to start a career and I encourage all employers in Bury to explore the possibilities.”