Brussels, 17 Sep 2004
The UK is to invest over four million GBP (5.9 million euro) in encouraging women to return to science.
The government believes that the economy is suffering because too few women with science qualifications are entering or returning to science, engineering and technology (SET) jobs.
Launching the new UK Resource Centre for women in SET, the UK's Secretary of State for Trade and Industry Patricia Hewitt said: 'The nation's science base is the bedrock of our economic performance. We need more people working in science, engineering and technology - that means making sure that professional women in these sectors are able to contribute fully at all stages of their career.'
The centre will be based in Bradford and will work with UK businesses to help maximise the opportunities for professional women in SET and to close the skills gap that the government believes is damaging the country's competitiveness.
Minister of State for Industry and the Regions and Deputy Minister for Women and Equality, Jacqui Smith, also welcomed the initiative and emphasised the importance of getting young women interested in a career in science: 'We need to get more girls excited about careers in SET and more women with SET skills employed to use their specialist training and experiences in good jobs and in senior positions.'
Included in the government funding is 200,000 GBP (295,000 euro) intended to help higher education institutions retain female undergraduates on SET courses and to ensure their progress into the SET labour force.
For further information on the Resource Centre for women in SET, please visit: