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Women and Work Sector Skills Pathway Initiative

Volume 517: debated on Thursday 28 October 2010

4. What discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills on the effectiveness of the women and work sector skills pathway initiative. (19946)

That initiative is part of a broad range of action to improve equality in the workplace, an issue on which my hon. Friend the Minister for Equalities and I have had a number of discussions with colleagues in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. The forthcoming skills strategy will set out our approach to improving skills for everyone.

Will the Minister tell the House what the Government are doing to help women to get jobs in sectors in which they are currently under-represented?

We are taking a number of steps to ensure that we encourage women in areas in which they are not currently as highly represented, such as funding the UK Resource Centre for women in science, engineering and technology. The Government are, of course, committed to an additional 75,000 apprenticeship places by the end of the spending review period, and I am sure that we will do all we can to ensure that women take places in areas where they are not properly represented at the moment.