Breaking Barriers: college champions female talent to address technical labor Shortage

A Dutch technical college's initiative to boost female enrollment in technical fields offers a blueprint for the heritage sector, currently facing a shortage of skilled craftsmanship. This pioneering approach not only bridges the gender gap but also inspires similar strategies to preserve vital traditional skills and knowledge.

Power to women

A prominent technical college in the Netherlands is taking bold steps to address the acute labor shortage in technical fields by focusing on training more female vocational students. This initiative marks a significant move towards gender diversity in industries traditionally dominated by men, while strategically tapping into the unique skill sets women offer.

Highlighting the change, three 18-year-old students are being trained for mid-level management roles in construction, a sector long dominated by men. Their education covers a range of subjects including building physics, technical drawing, and structural mechanics, preparing them for future leadership positions in construction projects.

High Demand for Technical Expertise
The college’s initiative comes at a time when the demand for skilled technicians is soaring, particularly in major industrial and port areas. Traditionally, women have been underrepresented in technical fields, often favoring careers in healthcare and education. This program aims to shift that trend by increasing female enrollment in technical disciplines.

To complement this, a national campaign is set to launch in March, targeting girls aged 10 to 15 to foster interest in science, technology, and IT. Ahead of this, the college is proactively organizing a “Girls in Technology” day, which has already seen significant interest with over 150 girls registered. The objective is a 10% increase in female student enrollment for the next academic year.

Women’s Unique Contribution to Technology
The program’s female students are proving their mettle, bringing a keen attention to detail to their studies – a trait they believe is their advantage in the field. Their ambitions are diverse, ranging from real estate and construction management to architecture, driven by a blend of personal inspiration and a deep-seated interest in building and design.

Women are the untapped potential that we desperately need to achieve social challenges such as the energy transition and the technological developments in care

Thea Koster, chair of Techniekpact

Bright Prospects for Women in Technical Fields
The college notes that female students are increasingly preferred for internship opportunities, reflecting the growing appreciation of the unique perspectives they bring to these traditionally male-dominated fields.

To encourage more aspiring students, the college is hosting open days, showcasing the diverse opportunities available in the realm of technical education. The event is open to all interested parties, signaling a new era of inclusivity and innovation in the technical sector.

Sourced from AD Rotterdams Dagblad

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