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B&Q Pledges to fund more woman trade apprentices to tackle gender imbalance

DIY giant aims to bridge the gender gap in trade jobs by helping to identify and address the barriers and creating training opportunities for women. B&Q… View Article


B&Q Pledges to fund more woman trade apprentices to tackle gender imbalance

DIY giant aims to bridge the gender gap in trade jobs by helping to identify and address the barriers and creating training opportunities for women.

B&Q TradePoint, the leading home improvement retailer’s trade brand, is taking further steps towards breaking gender barriers in trade professions. Recognising the trade skills gap and the stark underrepresentation of women in the sector, B&Q TradePoint is committed to fostering inclusivity and creating more opportunities for women in trade professions through funding of trade apprenticeships.

According to a recent report by Kingfisher, B&Q’s parent company, only 2% of the 900,000 tradespeople in the UK are women. The report also highlights that the UK is at risk of losing £98 billion in growth by 2030 due to a shortage of skilled tradespeople, with the current shortage of 166,000 tradespeople rising to 250,000. These statistics emphasise the urgent need for initiatives that encourage and empower anyone interested in the industry to pursue a career in the trades.

While more women than ever are engaging in DIY activities, the transition to trade jobs has been slow which is why B&Q TradePoint looks to address this problem head on. B&Q is already playing its part by funding trade apprenticeships for SMEs using the apprenticeship levy Transfer to Transform scheme, in an effort to help alleviate the current trade skills shortage.

Having already fully funded 60 apprentices, across 45 businesses, supporting a variety of trades including carpentry, scaffolding, painting and decorating, plumbing, and electricians amongst others, B&Q has a further £650,000 to fully fund around another 120 apprentices.

As part of their dedication to gender equality, B&Q has a clear ambition to attract as many women as possible into the sector and to taking up as much as possible of the remaining pledged £1 million. This initiative is a crucial step towards building a more diverse and inclusive trades industry, contributing to the overall growth and prosperity of the sector.

In recognition of International Women’s Day, B&Q TradePoint has committed to help uncover the barriers preventing more women from entering trade professions through in depth research, understanding how the sector can better target and recruit an untapped workforce.

Amélie Gallichan-Todd, Supply & Logistics Director and Inclusivity Lead at B&Q, commented on the initiative: “It’s evident that there is a significant disparity between the increasing interest and participation of women in DIY and their representation in the trade sector. As we commemorate International Women’s Day, we want to attract more women into the trade professions through our funding of trade apprentices and research into the barriers preventing more women from becoming trade professionals. Our aim is to help create a more equitable future for women in the trade sector.”

B&Q invites industry stakeholders, partners, and the wider community to join them in this mission, as they work towards creating a future where women thrive in a more balanced trades industry.

To help inspire more women to transition from diy into trade professions and to drive greater awareness of the gender imbalance in the trade sector, B&Q TradePoint is working with influencer, Alex Lawson (@CasaLawson).

Commenting on the trade sector gender imbalance and why she is encouraging more women to become trade professionals, Alex said:  “I was very fortunate growing up to have fantastic role models in my life, both male and female – however I appreciate not everybody is this fortunate. I am delighted to be working with B&Q to help raise awareness of the fantastic opportunities in the trade sector and to help close the gap. I believe we have to do more to make young people aware of the vast range of opportunities available to them, and ensure these young people understand that further learning isn’t only available through traditional university courses. Through @casalawson I teach others that creating a home you love doesn’t have to break the bank and is completely achievable, you just have to start.”


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