Young women shun apprenticeships in technology sector

Pictured is apprentice Reece Winter, 17,  at Milton-Keynes based Centrex Services, warning that young women are rejecting apprenticeship opportunities, after revealing the company has not received an application from a woman for two years
Pictured is apprentice Reece Winter, 17, at Milton-Keynes based Centrex Services, warning that young women are rejecting apprenticeship opportunities, after revealing the company has not received an application from a woman for two years
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A MILTON Keynes firm hasn’t had an application from a woman to join its apprenticeship scheme in two years.

Supply chain specialist Centrex Services, which has a national distribution centre in Burners Lane, Kiln Farm, is puzzled why its training scheme isn’t attracting young women.

Martin Rulton, national technical operations manager at Centrex, said: “We have discovered some great apprentices, but it’s a shame that we haven’t been able to attract any applications from women, despite much encouragement. With jobs increasingly hard to come by, it seems counterproductive they would shy away from any opportunity that is presented to them.”

Mr Rulton, whose company is behind the leansource brand, said the company created its apprenticeship scheme because “we were dismayed by the lack of opportunities for young people and the rise in youth unemployment.”

The employer also wants to find new talent to invest in for its future. Its functions include call handling and logistics

Patricia Gurney is Centrex Services’ only female employee within its services centre. She wants women to step outside their normal employment ‘comfort zone’

She said: “Jobs which typically attract young women, such as retail, hotels and restaurants have suffered huge losses over the past five years. Because of this I firmly believe women should consider alternative career opportunities, such as apprentice schemes, even if it falls outside their normal comfort zone.” She said women can bring a ‘fresh perspective’ and ‘stand out’.

She added: “We have as much aptitude as men to excel within any environment, so young women should embrace the opportunities which are available to them.”

Reece Winter, 17, has recently joined the Centrex Services apprenticeship scheme. He said: “I believe girls my age may have an outdated view of what’s like to work in the technology sector and I think it’s holding them back. I don’t believe any job role should be gender specific – if women have an interest in an industry and the skills to succeed, then they should go for it.”