Ministers for Women, Margaret Jay and Tessa Jowell, yesterday announced that Women Unlimited, the first ever Government led opportunities fair for women, will take place on February 13th 2001.
Women Unlimited will give practical ideas and advice to women wanting to explore their work choices and take advantage of new opportunities available to them. It will bring together under one roof, experts, employers and training organisations to provide interactive seminars, informative exhibitions and networking opportunities.
The event is being supported by a range of private and public sector organisations. It is part funded by the European Social Fund and Sun Microsystems, a leading IT company. It is a pilot event which will be fully evaluated to assess its success and how it can best be taken forward.
Women Unlimited is a free, day-long event and is aimed at:
- Women considering skilling up or educational opportunities;
- Women returners;
- Women considering career options; and
- Women considering business start-ups.
Seminars will include CV writing and interview skills, making the most of IT, setting up in business, entering non-traditional careers and opportunities in training and education.
Margaret Jay said:
“Women have always worked both inside and outside the home and now, more than ever before, women are choosing to combine work and family life. Today women make up nearly half the workforce, and opportunities are growing on a daily basis – in 10 years time there will be over one million extra job opportunities for women.
“Of the 1.7 million jobs expected to be created by 2011, 1.3 million are forecast to be filled by women. As information becomes the driving force in the knowledge economy, women’s skills and contribution will be vital whether as parents, carers, employers or employees. We know that women are keen to develop their potential and explore new opportunities and we want to encourage women and business to maximise women’s participation in the labour market. Women Unlimited aims to help them do just that.”
Tessa Jowell said:
“As a result of Women Unlimited we want women to be better informed and able to make choices to improve their own lives and those of their families. Most women want to be financially independent but they want flexibility in their jobs and they want support and advice on returning to work.
“Women shouldn’t and needn’t be pigeon holed into traditional career paths. That’s why Women Unlimited will provide advice on a range of issues including entering non-traditional careers, changing career, returning to work after a break and balancing work and home life.”
Louise Proddow, Marketing Director, Sun Microsystems, said:
“The internet and the new economy provide opportunities, services, and social empowerment for everyone. Sun is committed to providing Internet access, training, and the opportunity for new jobs for the ‘disadvantaged’ as much as for the ‘advantaged’. Many barriers still exist, including opening up the IT industry to address the gender gap. The future is for everyone, and with this event, with work experience taster days, and with active diversity management, we can bridge the gap to create a more balanced economy.”
Madi Sharma, owner of Original Eastern Foods, said:
“Women will be able to find out about setting up their own business at Women Unlimited. Running your own business is both challenging and rewarding. It requires enormous energy, commitment and the ability to juggle a wide range of tasks to tight timescales.
“Top of the priority list is finding time to nurture, train and incentivise a good team to support you. Many women accomplish all of this in an average day caring for their families. In short, running a business is something that many women are equipped to do.”
Mary Cadoret, who’s supporting Women Unlimited said:
“After 20 years bringing up my 5 children, I decided at the Millennium it was time for a change. I knew that training would be essential so I started researching the options and found out about a course I wanted to do. I had to go to several places to find out about what was available. Women Unlimited sounds like a really good way of getting everything you need about training and job opportunities. I’ve changed my life and if I can other women can too.”