Ed Miliband declares lack of women in tech a ‘national embarrassment’

Ed Miliband believes Labour can solve the IT skills gap

Labour leader Ed Miliband has called the lack of women in technology and engineering industries a “matter of national embarrassment” for the UK, stating that a Labour government would aim to change the situation.

Writing on Facebook, Miliband highlighted the much discussed need for skilled people to fill the IT and engineering jobs of the future.

He drew attention to the fact that only 14 percent of engineering graduates in 2013 were female, and a mere four percent of professionally registered engineers are female.

“It should be matter of national embarrassment that the UK has the lowest proportion of female engineering professionals of anywhere in Europe,” he wrote.

The leader of the opposition also explained that nearly 780,000 more engineers will be needed to meet industry demand by 2020.

This number breaks down as 156,000 a year, and Miliband noted that the UK is training just half that figure, leaving Britain with a potential shortfall of 400,000 engineers in just five years’ time.

Miliband stated that if the Labour Party gets back into power following the 2015 general election, it will endeavour to solve this significant skills gap.

“The next Labour government will seek to put the UK back at the forefront of invention, technology and engineering with a national mission to create an extra 400,000 engineers by 2020,” he said.

Echoing in part the calls of the current government, Miliband outlined how a Labour government will work with the technology and engineering industry to put employers in charge of the money channelled into training young people so that just as many go into apprentices as go to university.

He also highlighted Labour’s goal to improve how many women focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths subjects at school.

Clearly throwing down the gauntlet to the government and other parties with ambitions of power, Miliband said: “Only a Labour government will have the values, approach and ideas to turn the economy we have with low wage, low skilled jobs into the economy we need, with high skilled, high wage jobs.”

“Britain is too unequal. We will change it. This is the mission for our party and the next Labour government,” he concluded.

The IT skills gap remains a major concern for the UK, but there is some optimism about the position women occupy in the technology industry

As a grassroots level, more is being done to encourage girls into technology. Disney is using characters from the popular film Frozen to help teach children to code using two female characters as role models.

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25 November 2014 | 2:39 pm – Source: v3.co.uk

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