A new project aims to encourage women think about working in professions which were traditionally dominated by men.The whole project is part of the government’s action plan to implement the recommendations of the Women & Work Commission. Over the next two years, three Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) will try to help 10,000 women find new careers in sectors where females are typically under-represented.The commission’s findings included an estimate that an increase in the female participation in the labour market could be worth up to £23 billion a year to the UK economy.Now, an additional £10 million pounds of funding will be available for the SCCs to attempt to improve female employee numbers in cleaning services, facilities management, the retail motor industry and science sectors."It’s about getting a better deal for women and for all of us, as this has the potential to bring a greater rate of return to our economy and society as a whole," explained Alan Johnson, the Secretary of State for Education & Skills.Minister for women, Ruth Kelly, also welcomed the initiative, saying that the new funding should "provide routes into new careers, raise skill levels, and have a real and lasting, positive impact on women’s earnings potential".Ms Kelly separately announced that, since its inception in September last year, over a 100 companies had signed the Exemplar Employer scheme. In joining, companies, who include ASDA, the Bank of England and many SMEs, pledged to actively work to reduce the inequalities in pay and conditions for female employees.© Adfero Ltd

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