That’s why ENGIE Cofely joined forces with the Institut Cardinal Mercier technical college to develop a training course in electrical and mechanical maintenance, leading to a certified qualification and the prospect of a permanent job.
The course is specifically aimed at women who are looking to embark on a new career in a technical field. Initiated by ENGIE Cofely, it is funded under the framework agreement between training body Bruxelles Formation and the further education authority Enseignement de promotion sociale, in partnership with Institut Cardinal Mercier and the employment hub Mission Locale de Schaerbeek, and in collaboration with Volta and Actiris.
Over 50% of ENGIE Cofely’s employees are technicians. However, despite initiatives to change attitudes and encourage diversity, technical jobs are still seen as primarily the preserve of men. ENGIE Cofely continues to take steps to alter this perception and reduce the gender imbalance in its area of business. In addition, there is a shortage of skilled technical workers in the market. ENGIE Cofely therefore launched this course with the aim of meeting the demand for trained personnel while also tackling the under-representation of women in the sector.
Wafaa, a 29-year-old mother of three who completed the course, explains her motivations: “As the youngest child in a big family, I often used to go out with my dad on jobs as an electrician. That gave me a taste for technical work. But when it came to choosing a career, friends and family weren’t keen on me going down that route so I resigned myself to a more ‘feminine’ profession. A few years later, when I heard about this course, I didn’t think twice. I plucked up the courage, quit my job as a teacher and made arrangements for childcare. I knew the Institut Cardinal Mercier because I used to go to school there. The teacher put us at ease straight away. I was really nervous before my first job-shadowing placement but they looked after me really well and my initial fears were soon allayed.”
Facts and figures
- Only 8% of ENGIE Cofely employees are women and just 1.8% of technicians
- One-year course
- Full-time course: five days a week, eight hours a day
- Includes several short job-shadowing placements and one six-week internship at ENGIE Cofely
- All-inclusive package: you learn a trade, with the prospect of a permanent job at the end
- Training in a stable and expanding sector
- Exciting industry with good future prospects
- ENGIE Cofely operates throughout Belgium, so you can be sure of a job near where you live
- A foot in the door of a company that promotes diversity and is committed to employing women in technical jobs
- You’ll receive ongoing training from the outset with plenty of scope for advancement within the company