Training Courses for Women Rising in Popularity
In recent months, colleges and training providers have reported a significant growth in the take-up of vocational courses. The most popular vocational courses have proven to be the traditional trades plumbing, electrical work and decorating.
With training providers offering an ever increasing number of courses aimed at women, the driving force behind the rise is believed to have been the increase of women undertaking vocational training. Vocational courses have been increasingly targeting women to encourage them to become qualified for a trade, with the attraction of starting a career without the burden of university fees being a particular draw.
In a recent interview with The Guardian, Colin Hindmarsh of Harlow College said:
“We’re finding that our students are becoming more entrepreneurial, they want to be in charge of their own destiny and these sorts of vocational courses allow them to set up their own businesses… We’ve had a significant increase in the number of women on this kind of course, most noticeably in painting and decorating. At level 2, two thirds of our students are female.”
There has been a general rise in popularity of vocational courses over the last few years as young people increasingly see it as an alternative career path which allows them to take control. In addition, learning a skilled trade is particularly attractive in view of the recent recession and subsequent rise in unemployment. Another reason young people in general, but especially women, are attracted to these traditionally male-dominated professions may be the impact of ‘green’ technologies making trades such as plumbing and electrical work appear more modern and ethically-conscious.
A particular selling point of vocational training to women is perhaps the extra market opportunities available to women. According to research, women and pensioners are more likely to hire a female tradesperson than a male tradesperson, because they feel safer and more comfortable with them in their home. With these professions offering potential salaries of £30,000-£50,000 in addition to the benefits and flexibility of being self-employed, it is of little surprise that women’s vocational training courses are increasing in popularity.