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Levelling-up Agenda

Volume 687: debated on Wednesday 13 January 2021

We are determined that everyone in Britain should be treated fairly and have a fair chance in life, whether they come from Redcar or Reading. That is why we have a new approach in the Equality Hub that is focused on the scourge of geographic inequality.

The Minister knows that Redcar and Cleveland rely a lot on our chemicals, manufacturing and engineering industry, and, like me, many young lads in Teesside go on to study apprenticeships in our industry. However, there remains a lot of work to do to address the gender imbalance that faces our industry. What more can the Government do to encourage young people of all backgrounds, but especially young women, to access engineering and help to level up places such as Redcar and Cleveland?

My hon. Friend makes a very good point. We know that 35% of the gender wage gap can be explained by the different occupations done by men and women. I am delighted that he is doing a lot to support Teesside’s chemical industry and to attract more young people, including women, into it. I am pleased to say that since 2010 there has been a 31% increase in girls studying science, technology, engineering and maths subjects.