NICEIC has recently had success in its efforts to help women in the electrical industry through the Jobs for the Girls Bursary Scheme. The scheme provides grants to female electrical workers or females who wish to begin a career in this industry. It is offered to women of all ages and designed to cover training and other associated costs up to a maximum of £500 per individual.
One fortunate recipient was 40-year-old Amanda Pugh, who used the funding to set up a website for her business, Amanda Electrics;
“I was just starting out on my own and although I had help with some of the training, and was fortunate to have a good amount of tools I still had to pay for additional courses, books, registration, insurance, website fees, business cards, work clothing and other tools.
“The set up costs were more than I anticipated but the bursary from the NICEIC helped to offset some of these costs and meant I was able to start making money from my work sooner.”
Another person to benefit from the scheme was 18-year-old Brittany Douglas, who had just started an apprenticeship and used the money to buy tools and a copy of up-to-date wiring regulations;
“The bursary meant I was able to buy the tools I needed to start my apprenticeship. There are a lot of things you need to buy when just starting out so it was great that I could get a helping hand.”
In the six months since launching the scheme, NICEIC has already provided £5000 of funding to more than 20 women. The average age of all who applied was 29, which indicates that women generally enter the industry at a later age than male counterparts.
Emma Clancy, CEO of NICEIC, commented: “Over the last seven years we have seen a marked increase in the number of women who come to us looking for help and assistance. 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.
“If we can help out those women who are just starting out or inspire others who might be thinking about a career in the electrical industry then we will be well on the way to addressing the gender imbalance directly.”