Sunday, 10 May 2015

War Work for Women

From The Times, Monday May 10, 1915.




Over 60,000 women have already registered for war service in the labour exchanges throughout the British Isles.  Of these 11,000 have asked for armament work, 9,000 for clerical, and 7,000 for agricultural employment.  About 2,000 have offered to work as shop assistants, 1,200 as tailors and dressmakers, including those prepared to work power machines, and 1,200 as ordinary needle workers.

The women offering to do armament work are, for the most part, women who have not undertaken work before; those offering themselves as shop assistants, on the other hand, have done other kinds of work, but feel that, as large numbers of young men are employed in the distributing trades, the greatest immediate need for women deputies might be expected from this quarter.

The various schemes of training in agriculture, which have been undertaken by the Board of Trade have been progressing very satisfactorily.  At the Harper Adams College. Newport, Shropshire, a second class of 30 students has just finished their course of instruction in farm operations.  These women have been drafted from Birmingham and Shrewsbury, and are of varying social status, most of them having received a good general education.  The work includes instruction in stock feeding and tending, dairying, poultry keeping, horticulture, and general farmwork.  The Board of Trade inspector, visiting the class before the conclusion of the course, reports that, without exception, the women appear to be enjoying the work and that they far exceeded expectations in energy, enthusiasm, and capacity. ...

Every effort will be made to use the women in their own counties, and in this way to diminish the housing problem.  The women's horticultural societies have cooperated very well, but the fullest advantages of the scheme can only be secured if the farmers will show no diffidence in testing the ability and good will of the women, all of whom are carefully chosen before being sent for training.

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