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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
28th January 2021


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As the years go by, we're seeing more and more women learning one of the building trades, running their own businesses and making an excellent living out of what has traditionally been 'a man's job'. Since the take-up of a trade by women is something that's relatively new, I was surprised to learn that the gender pay gap for the construction sector is a whopping 23.3%!

While I can understand (although I don't agree with it!) that because of the way we used to do things, women who've worked alongside men in decades-old roles have generally earned less than their male colleagues; in relatively new industries - such as IT - or where women are taking up roles traditionally carried out by men, it doesn't make sense to me that there's a gender pay gap at all, let alone one that's so large. Of course, it's all about to change.

New regulations require employers with 250 or more employees to publish their pay figures by April 2018. Clive Hickman, chief executive of the Manufacturing Technology Centre, says of the changes: "The MTC fully supports gender pay gap reporting and it is important that every company achieves a good gender balance throughout their organisation to enable a balanced growth of the business and long term sustainability. Gender balance in engineering companies is often difficult to manage as historically relatively few women have chosen engineering as their career. We are striving to recruit between 25-35% women for our 2017 graduate and apprentice intake with a long-term objective to push this even higher."

Talking of apprentices, the Apprenticeship Levy may be a game changer, but it certainly has its challenges and Bally Bhogal, managing director of independent advisory firm Independent Training & Skills Services, believes that one of the biggest of these is the lack of knowledge and understanding around apprenticeships and the subsequent handover of control to a training provider. She says that with over 1500 apprenticeship training companies registered, 'doing your homework' can really pay off. As a bare minimum, employers should be asking what training and qualifications they will receive through apprenticeship programmes, how much it will cost, how long it will take, what the benefits will be and how the training will be delivered. Something worth taking into account, I think...



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Jan Hobbs



7th April 2017

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