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Hartwell embraces Women & Work project

Oxford-based Hartwell Group has registered its female employees up to a new Government initiative to improve the skills and career opportunities for women employed in traditionally ‘male-dominated’ professions.

The dealer group has signed up 200 employees, including those working for its Ebbon-Dacs dealer management systems provider, to the Women & Work project for the automotive sector. The new scheme is part of the Government’s £10 million Women & Work Sector Pathways Initiative for England, launched earlier this year.

The project carries £1,000 of funding per person in support of a personal development plan which has to be matched by their employer.

Management and funding of the project is being co-ordinated by the Automotive Skills division of the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), the industry’s professional association and Sector Skills Council.

The Women & Work project constitutes part of the IMI’s brief to improve adult learning in the sector as one of its recently announced ‘five big wins’.

Running until the end of March 2008, the project may well claim 10% of the total budget allocated to all sectors, benefiting up to 1,000 women in the motor industry and their employers. Other organisations which have registered women on the project so far include Jaguar Land Rover’s Technical Academy.

Yvonne Cubbage, general manager, Hartwell Ford in Kidlington, has registered herself and a number of her female colleagues on the Women & Work project through Autavis, a provider of online learning programmes for the company.

Mahmoud Nafousi, managing director, Hartwell, said: “Hartwell is keen to recruit and retain women in all areas of our business. We already have several women in senior positions but we’d like to see more coming through the ranks to take up senior roles. I feel that the ‘Women and Work’ initiative will help us realise this ambition as tailored training will encourage women to strive to achieve more in their careers and ensure they have the necessary skills to reach senior positions.

"I have no doubt that this funding will have a positive impact in increasing opportunities for women within Hartwell and the motor industry in general.”

Employers interested in participating in the Women & Work project should contact Monique Boath via email at moniqueb@automotiveskills.org.uk.

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