Skills minister David Lammy has warned government departments that he will hound them into helping women into better jobs.
Lammy told a trade and industry select committee in the Houses of Parliament yesterday that public sector bodies needed to use their buying power to help women.
He told MPs that the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills would act as a watchdog to ensure government departments were doing all they could to close the gender pay gap.
“I am hugely sympathetic to the reality that government departments – and public sector bodies more broadly – procure massive amounts of labour on very significant projects and have huge leverage we can use to ensure women are getting access to skills and training,” he said.
“We as a new department want to make sure that we are reminding people across government about that in a way that has not been the case in the past.”
The committee is listening to evidence of the government’s implementation of a Women and Work Commission report into the gender pay gap.
A day earlier, Lammy called on public sector bodies to offer more apprenticeships.
“We have seen nothing short of a renaissance of apprenticeships under this government,” he said. “We now have over a quarter of million people engaged in them in every sector across the economy.
“I am now bringing together public sector employers at a high level summit to help show the way and determine how all employers and small to medium size employers can offer more apprenticeships.”