Careers

Women and Equalities – in the House of Commons at 9:30 am on 2nd July 2015.

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Photo of Maria Caulfield Maria Caulfield Conservative, Lewes 9:30 am, 2nd July 2015

What steps the Government are taking to encourage women looking for work to consider careers in all sectors of the economy.

Photo of Nicky Morgan Nicky Morgan Minister for Women and Equalities, The Secretary of State for Education

It is vital that women can access good quality careers guidance throughout their working lives. The National Careers Service provides more than 1 million people annually with impartial and professional careers information to help them enter work or learning. Priority groups, including women returners and the low-skilled, can also receive in-depth face-to-face guidance with a qualified careers advisor.

Photo of Maria Caulfield Maria Caulfield Conservative, Lewes

Does my right hon. Friend welcome the initiative from BP in schools in my constituency, such as Annecy catholic primary school and Seaford Head, to encourage girls and young women to study science, technology, engineering and maths to set them up for jobs in the future?

Photo of Nicky Morgan Nicky Morgan Minister for Women and Equalities, The Secretary of State for Education

I greatly welcome that initiative and I am delighted that BP has also pledged to work with schools under the Your Life campaign as part of a wider call to action for business to boost girls’ participation in engineering and technology. As my hon. Friend says, inspiring young people—particularly girls—to choose STEM careers is a key challenge for our economy.

Photo of Peter Bone Peter Bone Conservative, Wellingborough

The European Union recently decided to dictate to this country that we have too many women not in work who are staying at home to look after their children. Does the Minister think it wrong that the EU should stigmatise women who want to stay at home and work, and would she like to tell the European Union to butt out?

Photo of Nicky Morgan Nicky Morgan Minister for Women and Equalities, The Secretary of State for Education

I shall take your direction, Mr Speaker, and say that we are talking about choice of careers, and that choice of course extends to women staying at home and looking after their families. We want women to be able to make that choice, as well as fathers, as often it will be they who stay at home. I am tempted by my hon. Friend’s invitation to speak to the European Union. I might change the language, but I think I will take him up on his offer.