Change doesn’t happen overnight but it’s happening. That’s the main thing! Employers are seeing the value of having a more diverse workforce, recognising that ‘it simply makes sense from a business angle’. And of course, it does.
Let’s look at the stats… Even in this day and age it’s blindingly obvious that the building services engineering sector is still primarily made up of white males. There’s no escaping the statistics. Equality, diversity and inclusion are all core values at JTL, who actively encourage under-represented people to consider a career in plumbing, heating and ventilation trades. Despite this, the truth still remains that young white men take up the majority of JTL apprenticeship applications.
It’s time to challenge perceptions! Electricians and plumbers are a real demand across the UK. We live in a multicultural country and anyone seeking a career in the plumbing, heating and ventilation trades can expect success. Whether you’re male or female, White or Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) if you have the drive to succeed then you will!
We speak from experience when we say that some of our best apprentices have been women and people from the BAME community. Here at JTL, we encourage people from all backgrounds. Why? Because a diverse workforce leads to increased productivity and creativity.
A Diverse Workforce = Real Business Opportunities
Many employers in the plumbing, heating and ventilation trades have positive experiences due to a diverse workforce and have found a demand for female apprentices. Stephen Goodridge who owns Goodridge Electrical in Worcester shares his experience. Stephen recruited 37 year old Amy Lister who was a manager at Co-op at the time.
Amy wanted to change her career route and took evening classes at college to build her knowledge in the electrical industry. Stephen decided to ‘give her a go’ and was amazed at the impact she instantly had. From domestic and commercial contracts, the staff were pleasantly surprised to see Amy in charge!
Things are changing for the better. Women and BAME apprentices are finding that they are not ‘the only one’ within their company.
They work to promote a workforce that is diverse, and often, aim to create one that reflects the community where they are based. Promoting diversity and reducing discrimination makes a better and richer working environment for everyone.
By Rachel Jagger Thomas, Equality and Diversity Officer at JTL