Training the next generation of highly skilled workers in engineering and transport is vital to ‘seize the opportunities of Brexit’, according to transport minister Nusrat Ghani.
Ghani (pictured), who was speaking at the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Women in Transport summer reception yesterday (June 28), said that action was needed to address the “appalling statistics of a profession (engineering) that is 94% white, with only around 10% women”.
“The success of our sector is dependent upon sourcing the right people with the right skills, ensuring we maximise our talent pool,” she said. “In transport alone we’re attempting to achieve growth on a scale unseen in living memory. If we’re going to create a country fit for the future, ready to seize the opportunities of Brexit, we need to train the next generation of highly skilled British workers.”
She added: “We need all young people, especially girls and young women, to realise how much they could achieve as an engineer.”
The event, which was attended by around 200 transport professionals, celebrated last week’s International Women in Engineering Day (June 23) and was hosted by Labour MP Ruth Cadbury, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Women in Transport.
The group was set up two years ago to discuss and overcome the under-representation of women in the transport sector.
With women only making up around a fifth of the transport workforce, Cadbury said that “there is a long way to go before we have anything like gender parity”.
“We need to break down the barriers that are preventing more women from bringing their talents and experience to working in transport,” she said.
“The opportunities for more women with Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths skills are enormous. We need to be doing all we can with the transport and engineering sectors to shift this gender imbalance.”