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Becky the builder should be known to kids too not just Bob!!

Category: Industry News, Women, equality, construction

Becky the builder should be known to kids too not just Bob!!

There must be no such thing as jobs 'just for boys', the employment minister says today in a push to get more women into male-dominated industries.

Esther McVey told MailOnline that she wants to increase female employment in engineering, science and construction so that children will not just know 'Bob the Builder, but Becky the builder, his work mate too'.

She points to figures showing that if women started their own businesses at the same rate as men there would be an extra 150,000 firms every year.

Latest figures show that there are record numbers of women in work, hitting 14.4million in November.

But ministers are concerned that too many women are put off from applying for jobs in successful and expanding industries because they are seen as men-only sectors.

A campaign branded #NotJustForBoys will be launched to challenge stereotypes about the careers that young women can aim for.

Miss McVey said: 'I want to see more women be able to make the most of the opportunities that are out there today and in the future.

'Despite a record number of women in work they are still unrepresented in many of the industries – for example engineering, science and construction – where they can be the role models in traditionally male-dominated jobs for the next generation.'

There are just 272,000 women working in construction, compared to almost 2million men.

However, since the post-crash lows seen in late 2012 - when building sites shed jobs - female employment in the industry has risen by 17 per cent while the number of male workers is only up by 3 per cent.

'I want to see more women make the most of the future growth and job opportunities in what once may have been considered non-traditional roles – so young children won't only know about Bob the Builder, but Becky the builder, his work mate too,' Miss McVey said.

'Women are getting on and making choices about the world of work that many of their mothers and grandmothers might never have considered for themselves.'

Miss McVey will today visit Women in Construction, which helps women find work in the construction sector and are set to announce 20 new apprentice roles.

Only 7 per cent of engineering professionals are women, while the figure is just 20 per cent of people in broadcast media including photographers and camera operators.

A quarter of science, engineering and production technicians are women.

Miss McVey added: 'Let's not forget that if women set up businesses at the same rate as men – there would be an extra 150,000 starts-ups every year.

'I want to see even more women take advantage of Government job schemes so we can see more female Richard Bransons take on the business world – they can do it, it's not just for boys.

'Up and down the country the women of the UK have been staging a quiet revolution – they've been getting in work in unprecedented numbers.

'With record employment and almost 700,000 vacancies in the economy – I want to see as many young women as possible making the most of those opportunities to provide the security of a regular wage for themselves.'

The push for more women in construction comes as Labour announced plans to encourage more house building by small firms.

The party's housing spokeswoman Emma Reynolds said Labour would introduce a Help to Build scheme to allow small and medium-sized businesses to access lower-cost bank lending backed by Treasury guarantees.

The proportion of homes built by SME builders has fallen from 34 per cent to 27 per cent since 2010, with a loss of an estimated 1,131 builders, Miss Reynolds said.

Speaking to the Federation of Master Builders at a pre-election event in Westminster, Miss Reynolds said: 'Labour will boost small builders, increase house building and help make home ownership a realistic aspiration for the next generation.'

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