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Skills Council Drive to Boost Women in Work

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Energy & Utility Skills is joining the drive to encourage women to consider careers in traditionally male dominated professions.

The Sector Skills Council (SSC) said that women of all ages working in the energy and utilities sector will be able to benefit from a personal development programme designed to prepare them for career development within their companies.

Nine Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) are now involved with the government-led Women & Work initiative. The two-year scheme aims to help up to 10,000 women find new careers or progress their careers in sectors where they are currently under-represented.

The SSCs run a variety of projects to provide women with the skills and confidence they will need to succeed in these male dominated industries, including training for a new career; personal development programmes to help women progress to supervisory and managerial level, and self employment and mentoring schemes for female managers.

According to the Women & Work Commission, it is estimated that increasing women's participation in the labour market and in higher level roles could be worth between £15 billion and £23 billion a year to the UK economy.

Fiona Mortimer, Women and Work project manager at the Sector Skills Development Agency, which oversees the Sector Skills Councils, said: "The energy and utilities industries offer a wealth of diverse and interesting careers. However, gender stereotypes have meant that women have often been deterred. This initiative aims to redress the gender divide in these traditionally male-dominated industries and show women the great opportunities on offer."

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