Business

Study predicts almost 200 years to achieve gender equality among construction workers

It will take almost 200 years to achieve gender equality among construction workers, according to a new study

IT will take almost 200 years to achieve gender equality among construction workers, a new study has suggested.

The GMB said its research indicated that at the current rate of growth, the number of women in the building industry will not equal men until 2194.

The union said it has arranged a summit with the major construction companies working on the Hinkley Point nuclear power project to discuss the lack of women in construction.

Official data shows that just one in eight construction workers are female - the lowest share of any industrial group, according to the GMB.

National oficer Jude Brimble said: "Our analysis is a sobering reminder of the scale of the challenge facing the industry.

"As a union we are committed to advancing the cause of gender equality in all industries.

"That's why we have arranged our ground-breaking Hinkley Point summit where we will discuss with the major players how to increase the number of women in the construction of the project."

Angela Rayner, shadow education secretary, commented: "These figures show the scale of the challenge but major state-backed projects like Hinkley Point are a chance for the Government to step in and take action.

"Ministers should tell us how they will ensure that the opportunities they present will be open to all.

"We need to ensure that apprenticeships, for example, are available to more women and people who are historically underrepresented in certain jobs and industries, but the Tories' record has fallen far short their rhetoric, failing to set robust targets let alone meet them.

"A Labour government will do things differently.

"We will set clear and ambitious targets for recruiting female apprentices, reform the Institute for Apprenticeships to deliver wider participation, and be held to account by an empowered and independent social justice commission."

Meanwhile, workers are rejecting traditional nine-to-five office jobs and looking at vacancies for practical trades or outside work, a new study suggests.

Adzuna said a vineyard worker was the most clicked-on vacancy on its jobs site even though it offered a salary of £15,360.

The most searched for vacancies also included lower-paid seasonal positions such as fruit pickers, and trade jobs usually filled by overseas workers, said the report.

These included electrical mate, shopfitting joiner and plumber's mate, while other popular jobs ranged from an animal handler and kennel supervisor, to forest worker.

Andrew Hunter, co-founder of Adzuna, said: "Workers are rejecting the traditional nine-to-five office job to search for something more fulfilling.

"The list of the most clicked-on roles in the UK reveals three key trends that make a job desirable - working with animals, active outdoors positions, and practical craftsmanship. The nation is nostalgic for the good life and workers are prioritising wellbeing over cold hard cash.

"Not everybody can work on a vineyard or as an animal handler, but employers can sprinkle some mood-boosting magic into more commonplace roles."

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