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B&Q finds only 2% of UK tradespeople are women, pledges to fund more apprentices

Image © Kingfisher Group

According to a recent report by Kingfisher, B&Q’s parent company, only 2% of the 900,000 tradespeople in the UK are women. It has therefore pledged £1mn to fund trade apprentices, and has an ambition to attract as many women as possible to take up the remaining funding for 120 apprenticeships.

While more women than ever are engaging in DIY activities, the transition to trade jobs has been slow which is why B&Q TradePoint looks to address this problem head on. B&Q is already playing its part by funding trade apprenticeships for SMEs using the apprenticeship levy Transfer to Transform scheme, in an effort to help alleviate the current trade skills shortage.

Having already fully funded 60 apprentices, across 45 businesses, supporting a variety of trades including carpentry, scaffolding, painting and decorating, plumbing, and electricians amongst others, B&Q has a further £650,000 to fully fund around another 120 apprentices. 

In recognition of International Women’s Day, B&Q TradePoint has committed to help uncover the barriers preventing more women from entering trade professions through in depth research, understanding how the sector can better target and recruit an untapped workforce.  

Amélie Gallichan-Todd, supply & logistics director and inclusivity Lead at B&Q, said: “It’s evident that there is a significant disparity between the increasing interest and participation of women in DIY and their representation in the trade sector.

“As we commemorate International Women’s Day [Friday 08 March], we want to attract more women into the trade professions through our funding of trade apprentices and research into the barriers preventing more women from becoming trade professionals. Our aim is to help create a more equitable future for women in the trade sector.” 

B&Q is ranked in the Top100 of the recently published RetailX UK Top500 2024 report. There is also an exclusive company profiled on the home improvement giant in the ChannelX European Marketplace Report, it tracks how the retailer-run marketplace has grown online sales eight-fold and now take a quarter of all ecommerce sales.

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