“€œWe need female role models in engineering, construction and science”, Employment Minister tells College students
Thursday, 29 January, 2015

A senior government minister has visited Solihull College as part of a campaign to challenge career gender stereotypes. With just 272,000 women in the UK working in construction, compared to two million men and only seven per cent of engineers who are female, the Minister of State for Employment, Esther McVey visited the College to discuss the #NotJustForBoys campaign.

The visit, which was part of a roadshow across Solihull and Birmingham, gave the Employment Minister an opportunity to take part in a roundtable at the College’s Blossomfield Campus, and to meet some of the College’s female students; some of who are completing Motor Vehicle studies and science.

Organised by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and Solihull Chamber of Commerce, various local business women from across Solihull and Birmingham were invited to the roundtable which covered subjects including enterprising women. Following her visit to the College, Ms McVey went on to visit various companies across the region.

John Callaghan, Principal and Chief Executive at Solihull College comments: “The College is keen to encourage female learners into key industry areas such as aerospace and this event has really highlighted the urgency for this to happen. Esther McVey spoke with great enthusiasm and passion about empowering women of all ages into entering male dominated industries and becoming entrepreneurs. This has been a valuable opportunity for a senior government minister to meet some of our students and to hear about the issues that are facing them as they start making their career choices”€.

In addition to discussing enterprising women, subjects for the roundtable centred around women moving into non-traditional roles and succeeding in male dominated areas. In addition, attendees also discussed supporting women who are returning into work after raising a family, for example.

Minister of State for Employment, Esther McVey comments: “We need for young women to know of the opportunities out there and to see role models so they have those to aspire to so they can see powerful, whether it’s in construction, in logistics or science they need to see the various career options within these fields. With the latest technologies these industries are now creative, such as 3D modelling or bringing a female perspective to a house design. Women, let’s not be the consumers; let’s be the creators of what we want to be, let’s start having a say”.€

This event takes place only a few months after the College has launched a new HNC Construction and the Built Environment course. This qualification is led by an all-female teaching team which hopes to encourage more female learners into engineering industries, such as aerospace and civil engineering.
To find out more about the qualifications on offer at Solihull College please visit www.solihull.ac.uk/our courses or call 0121 678 7000