To celebrate International Women’s Day (March 8) NICEIC is setting up a bursary scheme to help women in the electrical industry.
NICEIC has long campaigned for more women to enter the electrical sector. Now it is taking the next step by offering grants to women already working in the industry or looking to get a helping hand at the start of their career. The bursary is open to females of all ages and can help cover training or other associated costs up to a maximum of £500.
Emma Clancy, CEO of NICEIC, commented: “Through our Jobs for the Girls campaign NICEIC has been at the forefront of promoting opportunities for women.
“We have helped bring the issue to national attention and are now seeing more women look to take up a career as an electrician.
“However, getting started in the industry is still proving difficult for many women. Through this bursary scheme we want to take the next step and help those directly involved.”
Since launching its Jobs for the Girls campaign in 2011 NICEIC has noticed a marked change in the industry’s attitude towards women in the sector. The sexist attitudes and misogyny of a bygone era are thankfully on the wane and more and more employers are giving women the opportunity to shine.
However, the numbers are still painfully low with estimates suggesting that women still only make up around 2% of all those who work on the tools.
Emma added: “Over the last seven years we have seen a marked increase in the number of women come to us looking for help and assistance. Colleges and employers have also been in touch to see how they can attract more female candidates.
“Where possible we have provided access to training, technical information and opportunities with our registered contractors. But, it has not always been possible to assist those who just need a helping hand along the way.
“Through this bursary we will be able to offer practical and financial support and hopefully create a smoother route into the industry.”
In 2015 NICEIC worked in partnership with Sheffield based charity WEST (Women in Engineering Science and Technology) and The Sheffield College to help promote the opportunities that a career as an electrician presents.
NICEIC then financially supported three women who wanted to become an electrician by paying their college fees and helping them find work with a local registered contractor.
One of those who benefited was Shauna Wigglesworth. Following her studies NICEIC managed to find her work experience with national housing provider The Guinness Partnership. She was eventually taken on as electrical apprentice and last year was named its Apprentice of the Year.
“The pilot scheme in Sheffield has proved to us the positive affect we can have in assisting more women into the industry,” concluded Emma.
“If we can create more success stories such as Shauna’s and all the other women who are already out there making a fine career as an electrician then we will be well on the way to addressing the gender imbalance directly.”
For more information and how to apply, visit: www.niceic.com/jobsforthegirls/bursary