Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Work in Armament Factories for Women

From The Times, 24th March 1915.




Already there has been a gratifying response from Scotland to the appeal of the Board of Trade for women workers to take the place of men released for active service.  Although the figures are not yet available, the officials of the Labour Exchanges in Glasgow report that a large number of women have already registered, and that a considerable number of applications for registration forms has also been received.

When the Parliamentary recruiting circular was distributed in the north, thousands of women householders offered their services to the nation in any capacity, and the present appeal gives them the opportunity they then asked for.  Many of the applicants are working women who are out of employment, but a large proportion belong to the leisured and middle classes.

It is anticipated that work can be found almost immediately for fully a thousand women in the engineering and armament factories in the Clyde district.  Already one or two firms have experimented with female labour, principally in the manufacture of shells and other explosives, and the women have shown remarkable aptitude for picking up the work.

Several other armament and engineering firms have informed Labour Exchanges that they are prepared to engage a considerable number of women, and steps are being taken to ascertain the views of other employers.  The work which the women volunteers will be asked to undertake will be the operating of turning lathes or other light machines which require little or no technical knowledge.

Since it has become clear that a new industrial army of women is coming forward to enrol for war service the Central Labour Exchange are beginning to receive offers to train them.  An offer to place a large training farm at their disposal was received yesterday in London, and there were similar proposals from various institutions and organizations, as well as inquiries from individual employers.
Applications for registration continue to pour in steadily.  Returns have not yet been received from the Exchanges throughout the country, although many women residing in the country have written to the central office direct, but it is hoped that this information showing how the movement has spread will be available shortly.  The women's societies generally have shown a disposition to cooperate in the most patriotic spirit.

[As we know, many women worked in munitions factories during the First World War, doing hard and dangerous work.  This is the beginning of it - this report stresses that the women will only be doing light work requiring little technical knowledge, and expresses surprise that women can pick up the work so quickly.]    

No comments:

Post a Comment