A new report has shown that the 24,400 women have completed one or more training courses since the Women and Work programme was set up in 2006.
According to the UK commission for employment and skills (UKCES), under the programme 2,507 women have been trained in new skills from January to April this year.
The Women and Work programme was set up in 2006 to tackle barriers hindering women achieving employment in certain business sectors. Training programmes have included trades the vary widely from ‘green’ roof design to chemical engineering.
The scheme was backed by the Government with a £23.5m investment and since then it has raised a further £28m of investment from employers.
Women represent half of the UK workforce but only account for 21% of employees in science, engineering and manufacturing.
Lynn Tomkins, UK operations director at sector skills council Semta, said: They [women] are a great untapped resource at a time when we need a wealth of new talent and higher level skills to improve competitiveness.”
Semta have co-ordinated training in the science, engineering and manufacturing sectors and developed a programme to give women the skills and confidence to tackle personal challenges. 88% of women who took this training said they felt the programme had improved their confidence.
Caroline Brown, a graduate of the programme, is now the international nuclear business head at engineering consultancy firm Atkins.
“Women’s differences can be their strengths. Whereas I might have previously conformed to be more “blokey” to succeed, I now have the confidence to know that I don’t need to do that,” she said.