Belfast, 28th February 2006 - WOMEN'STEC, the largest quality provider of training for women in non-traditional skills in Northern Ireland welcomes the recommendation made in the by the government-appointed commission's report 'Shaping a Fairer Future'. Indeed, the organisation has been encouraging more and more girls to think of non-traditional jobs as a valid career option for years.
Their Girl Power project was developed to challenge equality in the workplace through widening career choices of young women, so as to make major positive impact in reducing job segregation and low wages. It promotes gender equality for career choice and delivers accredited training to 14-16 year old girls in trades such as joinery, electrics, special paint effects and mosaics.
During the last three years, over 300 girls from schools, youth projects and alternative education projects have completed training with the WOMEN'STEC. When doing these courses, the girls have made lamps, picture frames, mirrors, and learned how to do electrical jobs such as wiring plugs or changing ordinary switches to dimmer switches.
The next phase of the project is to work in partnership with the Electrical Training Trust (ETT) in a school to encourage girls to take up an apprenticeship in electrics.
Anne McVicker, Chief Executive of WOMEN'STEC, said "When the latest pay gender gap report concluded that more should be done to improve vocational training among the youth, we felt that our mission was on the right track, and that girls had a part to play in this ambitious challenge." She added "Women are still under-represented in non-traditional skills sectors while research in other parts of Europe has shown that women have been as popular with customers as men in these trades and that they show a very high level of job satisfaction".