Women risk missing out on rail plan jobs boost

Women could miss out on a jobs boost that will see 100,000 job opportunities across Britain’s railway by 2027, the Rail Delivery Group has warned today, after it commissioned a new national survey revealing 81% of women in Britain have never considered working in the rail industry.

Britain’s railway, a partnership of the public and private sectors, unveiled ambitious plans in October to attract new talent and to secure more than 100,000 job opportunities across the country in rail and its supply chain. The partnership railway’s In Partnership for Britain’s Prosperity sets out four commitments - to strengthen the economy, improve journeys, boost communities and provide rewarding careers. The latter will see rail companies creating more jobs, increasing diversity and providing employees with rewarding careers.

More than half (56%) of the women who had not considered a career in rail stated the industry did not interest them despite nearly a third (28%) admitting that they hadn’t considered it as they know little about the sector. Furthermore, the survey of 1,097 women (a nationally representative sample), conducted by YouGov and commissioned by the Rail Delivery Group, revealed a fifth (23%) of respondents feared they lacked the right skills for the industry.

However, more than two thirds (70%) of female workers polled admitted they would retrain for a job that offered great benefits and security, and 90% of women that are likely to change careers revealed they would consider changing to a career that would require on the job training.

The partnership railway, which has seen record investment in recent years from the public and private sectors, is committed to creating a diverse workforce and increasing the number of women employees by 20% by 2020. As part of its ambitious plan to change and improve, the partnership railway will be investing more than £250m per year in workforce training to improve employee engagement and customer experience.

The survey found many women are motivated by flexible working, something that is offered by many roles in rail, with 48% admitting it would be in their top three most important factors when choosing a new career in a different industry.

The perception of rail as an industry dominated by men had a negative impact on women’s views with 11% blaming it for their lack of interest in working in rail, 16% said they would not consider a job in a male dominated industry and 23% stated they wouldn’t feel comfortable working in one. However, 66% of respondents agreed more needed to be done to encourage women to work in male dominated sectors.

Jacqueline Starr, Managing Director, Customer Experience, Rail Delivery Group, said: “Britain’s partnership railway is committing to invest £250m in workforce training making now an exciting time to join this vital industry. Working together we have an ambitious plan to change and improve and to achieve this, we need to build on our existing workforce and attract diverse talent. I would urge women keen to make a difference in a dynamic environment not to miss out on great jobs and opportunities in a sector that offers quality on the job training, great benefits and family friendly policies.”

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To interview a senior spokesperson or a case study that works in rail and to find out more about the partnership railway’s plans to create new roles and to increase the number of women working in the sector by 20% by 2020, please contact Elizabeth Bananuka: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / 020 3780 4028 / 07470 397 639.

Notes to editors

About the survey

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1097 GB Women. Fieldwork was undertaken between 15 - 16 February 2018. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

About Britain’s Partnership Railway

Working together, the partnership railway of the public and private sectors has published a long-term plan, called In Partnership for Britain’s Prosperity, to change and improve Britain’s railway. The plan will secure almost £85bn of additional economic benefits to the country and contains four commitments which will see rail companies: strengthen our economic contribution to the country; improve customers’ satisfaction; boost the communities we serve; and, create more and better jobs in rail. For more information go to Britain Runs on Rail.

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