With one of the biggest changes to happen to the United Kingdom in the next coming month, everyone is feeling the pressure and uncertainty. This is hugely affecting some of the UK’s largest industries. You’ve seen and read about car manufacturers closing down plants, some  retail businesses collapsing and a lot of people caught in the collateral damage. 

But everything isn’t all doom and gloom, during this time we have made some major steps towards a more digital future, enhancing workflow and streamlining once complicated procedures. We are also seeing a rise in support and awareness for workers and as such a small feeling of unification in such chaotic times.

Some schemes that are shining through the uncertainty are those helping people get back into work. One particular charity that is helping women get back into work by creating a clothing capsule set to prepare unemployed women to get back into the industry is Smart Works. Smart Works is a UK charity that provides high quality interview clothes and training to women in need, with a team of over 350 volunteers across the UK who deliver the award winning service. 

Recently HRH The Duchess of Sussex gave a speech announcing this capsule collection with collaborations from John Lewis & Partners, Marks & Spencer, Jigsaw and Misha Nonoo. Combining fashion knowledge to create a perfect working wardrobe.

Available in-stores, and online, The Capsule Collection is funded by the retailers donating an item of clothing to Smart Works when that item is purchased in store by a customer.  So if you purchase something from The Capsule Collection, the store will automatically donate a matching piece to Smart Works. 

With referrals from Job Centres, Work Programmes, Prisons, Care Homes, Homeless Shelters and Mental Health Charities, Smart Works prepare women with the donations from the capsule collection for their first interview with the promise that if all goes well they can select 5 additional pieces of clothing, with the aim to supply them with a working wardrobe until their first paycheck.

A program like this would be great to help industries like manufacturing where women make up only 15% of the workforce, according to EEF. Another survey done by Women in Manufacturing (WiM) found that three-quarters of women would not consider manufacturing careers and a viable option of employment. 

A lot of factors affect the low employment rate. The biggest is the impression people get from manufacturing, that it is manual labour, long working hours and even longer assembly lines. This stereotype of STEM industries is believed to be one of the reasons that people, not just women, don’t seek manufacturing careers. This is despite the stereotype, like most, being incredibly outdated. 

Marri Bonham, the manufacturing director of Hilti said “Supporting women as they take their first management steps within the industry will have a positive impact overall”

At Luminati, we are proud to be involved in STEM, and the Mayflower 400 in Plymouth, educating and encouraging local women into STEM.  Our Creative Manager, Sarah, is proud to be a STEM Ambrssador https://400.winstemplymouth.org/2018/12/14/sarah-gray/

Whilst HRH Meghan Markle was delivering her speech we were pleased to see the sleek and modern lines of an acrylic lectern.  At home in any talk or presentation like this, our lecterns allow the speaker a great platform to present from and can have all manner of multimedia equipment like microphones and cameras integrated into the display. 

We are excited to see the difference the Smart Works Charity makes, and will continue our work in STEM with our local University.  We are particularly excited to be starting a work experience platform with young and emerging talent within the STEM industry. 

Our cost effective clear lectern with robust base can be found here, or head to our website to view our full range of products and our Display Design Service. Or call our friendly sales team at 01752 698720.