The new accreditation from EAL, the awarding organisation for industry qualifications, is launching to help women progress in typically male-dominated sectors.
Working in partnership with Semta, the sector skills council for science, engineering and manufacturing technologies, the qualification has been developed in support of the Career Investment and Progression programme.
The Career Investment and Progression Programme, which runs until March 2012, is jointly funded by employers and Semta, through the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) Employer Investment Fund.
EAL’s level three award in Career Advancement and Progression (QCF) aims to help individuals manage themselves and have a proactive approach to their career development. The qualification teaches time management, goal setting and achieving targets, communication skills and the importance of managing a positive personal reputation and image.
The programme has benefitted more than 1,000 female employees across the industry, and uptake has been positive at the defence manufacturer BAE Systems.
A recent independent report from Engineering UK called for increased recruitment and development of women in the typically male-dominated industries of engineering and manufacturing technologies. The report stated that only 8.7% of professional engineers in the UK are women – the lowest proportion in Europe.
Ann Watson, managing director of EAL, said: “EAL’s level three award in Career Advancement and Progression provides vital support for women to upskill and develop careers in these industries. We must encourage more women to gain the right skills and qualifications to enter into and excel in engineering and manufacturing roles.”
Ms Watson said that: “This is not only to bridge the gap between male and female employees but also to ensure that we have enough skilled workers for the future of this vitally important industry.”
The new qualification is already benefitting 80 female employees at BAE Systems in Barrow-in-Furness in a wide range of positions, from apprentices through to senior executives.
Stephanie O’Toole, a senior materials planner at BAE Systems, said: “The programme has had such a positive result on my career so far. I’m now getting noticed a lot more for the work I’m doing and getting asked to do a lot more challenging work.”
Adrian Tearle, learning and development advisor at BAE Systems, added: “Our female employees expressed a desire to understand how to get ahead and a significant number of members of the women’s network wanted to get involved in the programme.”
“We want our business to be inclusive and a place that women want to work, while also making the most of our talent pool. This programme gives our female employees the tools they need to reach their full potential which will, in turn, have a direct impact on the success of our business.”
Look out for The Manufacturer’s women in manufacturing feature in the March edition.