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Tackling the difficult subjects.

VOCATIONAL courses have long been a hot topic of conversation, with their ability to prepare youngsters for the real world and equip them with the necessary skills heavily debated.

Practical, hands-on courses are very popular in construction and related industries as they give participants the theoretical knowledge they require, along with practical experience.

Theoretical knowledge is critical to success, no matter what career path you choose, with a good understanding of science and maths noted as the two main subjects all individuals need to have an understanding of in order to succeed.

Yet despite this, fewer than 20% of 16 to 19-year-olds in the UK at present currently take A-level maths, with almost half of schools having no girls who study A-Level physics.

Combine this with figures that show only one in 10 people in the engineering industry are female, and we have a worrying state of affairs on our hands. The Government is well aware of the situation and is pushing a major drive to boost the skills, and number of women, in various industries.

The "My Life" campaign brings together business, educators, civil society and government to show how science and maths, among other things, leads to exciting, successful careers.

Ultimately, the campaign wants to help people make the most of their talents and to grow the number of women in the science, technology and engineering industries.

By 2030, the Government is hoping the campaign will have helped double the number of engineering This perfect time and technology degrees that are undertaken by women to at least 30% - a huge feat, but something it is hoping it will achieve with the help of a number of industry big players.

start what didn't well past The likes of Balfour Beatty and Carillion have already pledged their support for the campaign, with Laing O'Rourke publically saying that, by 2016, 30% of individuals on their apprenticeship and cadet programmes will be women.

The company have also pledged that, on the back of the My Life campaign, 40% of undergraduate sponsorship opportunities will be offered to women by 2016.

I'm really pleased to see the Government and some big industry organisations taking a well-overdue stance on this topic.

I have previously discussed how I felt we needed to up our game when it came to encouraging more women into the industry and, for me, this is the first step in achieving that.

the We're continuing to see recovery in the industry, and I feel like we're finally back in a good place.

to This is the perfect time to start evaluating what we didn't do well in the past and what we could do better going forward - encouraging more women in the industry is one of the things we must do better; it's time to realise that it's no longer a man's we do the world For more informa-|tion on Constructing Excellence in the North East, please contact chief executive Catriona Lingwood on 0191 374 0233 or email catriona@cene.org.uk By Siobhan McMahon-Walsh, national deputy chair of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC)

This is the perfect time to start evaluating what we didn't do well in the past

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2014 CENE Highly Commended Young Achiever of the Year Award winner - G4C Alison Mee <B

Pauline Vipond receives the Achiever of the Year award presented by Simon Lewis, partner at Bond Dickinson
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Sep 24, 2014
Words:566
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