NICEIC has been helping more women into the electrical industry through its Jobs for the Girls Bursary Scheme. The scheme offers grants to women already working in the industry or looking to get a helping hand at the start of their career. It is open to females of all ages and designed to cover training or other associated costs up to a maximum of £500.
One of those who benefited from a bursary was 40-year-old Amanda Pugh from Buckinghamshire. She 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.”
Coleen Everitt, runs Alto Electrical in Lincolnshire. She used the money to buy materials for circuit boards, which she custom builds and uses for talks in local schools and colleges.
“I am a keen advocate of promoting a career in the trades to young boys and girls. By offering a hands on practical lesson I want to encourage both boys and girls into the construction sector.
“It was great to get support from NICEIC and as a female in the trade I fully support the Jobs for the Girls campaign.”
Another one to benefit was 18 year-old Britany Douglas. She had just started an apprenticeship and used the money to buy tools and the latest 18th Edition wiring regulations.
She said: “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 bursary, NICEIC has provided £5000 of funding to more than 20 women.
The youngest applicant was a 17 year-old just staring out at college and the oldest was a 55 year-old who wanted to get back on the tools after a career break.
The average age of all applicants was 29 - perhaps an indicator of the later age that women traditionally come into the electrical industry.
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.
“Through this bursary we have been able to offer practical and financial support and hopefully create a smoother route into the industry.
“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.”
NICEIC is committed to encouraging more women in to the electrical industry via its Jobs for the Girls campaign. Applications for the 2019 Jobs for the Girls bursary will open in Spring next year.