While there's no doubt that the country has come a long way in terms of gender equality in the workplace, there are still industries where women are significantly under represented. If we look at the engineering sector, for example, only 8% of engineers in the UK are women . In fact, the UK has the lowest percentage of female engineering professionals in Europe.
With National Apprenticeship Week in full swing last week, and since youth unemployment remains at 20%, it's more important than ever that we do everything we can to help young people into work. I'm an example of how an apprenticeship can give you a job for life after joining British Gas as an apprentice 34 years ago, back in 1980, and now I run our six training academies across the UK training the engineers of tomorrow.